Really dumb grammar mistakes. (Part 1)

I would like to preface this article by saying that REALTORS who make grammar mistakes are not necessarily dumb.  If you are writing copy for your real estate website, you can bend the rules under the cover of “artistic license.”

Advertisers take some liberties with the language all the time.  For example, I frequently break the rules by beginning a sentence with the word “but.” We all know the rule about not starting a sentence with a conjunction, so I don’t know if this makes me look ignorant. But I get tired of starting with the word “however.”

The Dreaded Dangling Participle Mistake

This one causes a lot of confusion.  It can also be funny. Here is an example of a dangling participle:

Driving down the road, the flowers were beautiful.

What?  Are the flowers driving down the road?   This is a classic example of a dangling participle.  A dangling participle is a modifer that attaches itself to a word for which it was not intended.  The modifier “beautiful” was a modifier that was intended to modify the subject “flowers,” but the word “driving” seems to be modifying the subject.  The culprit here is faulty word order. The modifier “beautiful” is left dangling because it appears to be attached to nothing.

Here’s another classic example:

I saw the mailman peeking through the window.

Is the mailman peeking through the window?  Probably not.  My intention was to say that I was peeking through the window when I saw the mailman. To avoid this error, be certain that your opening phrase modifies whatever comes immediately afterword in the sentence.  Check your work to see if the modifiers you use will modify the subject.

Stay tuned for more dumb grammar mistakes.

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Comments

  1. Shelley Tucci says:

    HA, great article! I know I’ve been guilty of this and other grammar mistakes, mostly spelling… and I have spell check!

  2. Don’t know if I should respond or not! BUT, somestimes we just type as quickly as possible and are used to spellcheckers on the computer.

  3. I think i am the worlds worst when it comes to grammer. This is why i am not a good blogger

  4. Daphne Lacey says:

    Thanks for the reminders…there are times that I get carried away when composing that I do not think about my English and grammar classes. It is good to have someone remind me once in a while.

  5. Thanks for the refresher course! I look forward to more, although it may be scary to see how much I’ve ‘unlearned’ since school!

  6. Abbe Waldman says:

    I edited a book once and still have to watch what I write. The advice in your blog is a good reminder to review and edit everything we do. Thanks for the article.

  7. Good article. I now have my partner review my blog for dumb spelling mistakes.

  8. I recently saw a description of a home that said, “you won’t believe the view of the mountains in the master bedroom”.

    Tina Fountains last blog post..1090 Vistavia Circle Decatur, Georgia 30033

  9. I’m guilty of grammar mistakes. I do my best but it is more important to me get my posts out than to not do them for fear of a grammar mistake.

    Marc Rasmussens last blog post..March 2009 sales up 33 percent over February

  10. After reading this blog, I’d be rushing off to take an online exam on English grammar. And I hope I pass! Thanks for the reminder.

  11. I find it’s the fear of making dumb grammar mistakes that takes me so long to write a small blog. I hope the longer I blog the easier it will be.

  12. Ha! Just the other day I posted a comment about my status on the Facebook page, only to have my dangling participle thrown back at me in hilarious fashion by several of my friends.

    Joe@Augusta GA Homess last blog post..1st Quarter Augusta GA Home Sales Summary

  13. Jill says:

    My grammer errors are often much worse than dangling participles. I am glad I have the spell/grammer check in word. Its saved me from publishing some unreadable copy. Now my copy is just semi bad.

    Jills last blog post..Home Sales increase from February, but down from March 2008

  14. Great Article, I will review my website for these grammar mistakes

  15. Chelle says:

    It’s funny, I was cleaning out a closet and came across some old school work we had about this just the other day. (Who knows what I was keeping it for!) Our example was “I could see the billy goat with my glasses on” versus “With my glasses on, I could see the billy goat”. It’s one of those grammar things I hadn’t thought about since 7th grade :)

    Chelles last blog post..10 Ways to Make Your Website More User Friendly

  16. Sam Chapman says:

    Realtors are teribble about punction and gramer. And they use CAPS to much or allower cased to much. They also make up words allot and combine words that don’t not look good togethr. What silly peepol!

  17. My grammer in emails is pretty bad. I have bad grammer to start off with but in addition I usually email late at night which probably makes it worse.

    Ki@Austin Real Estates last blog post..Austin Real Estate Statistics For March 2009

  18. Nico says:

    I am guilty of grammar mistakes, too! I usually makes mistakes in spelling and past/present tenses. Sometimes, I’m scared of making a blog because I’m not confident with my grammar.

  19. Alex says:

    Well I can’t really say much about grammar mistakes, but sometimes spelling mistakes can be golden. Early in our site’s development, we spelled Manhattan wrong. Even now, long after we fixed it, our site still ranks highly in organic search results under the misspelled version.

  20. In this age of IM and text messages, I find myself writing articles and catching myself trying to relate my message the way I text my kids. No wonder my kids english grades are suffering.

  21. It’s refreshing to see some commentary geared toward realtors about spelling and grammar errors. It’s something we all do…but there is a time to break the rules, and a time not to. Great post!

    Jenn @ Mississauga Realtorss last blog post..Etobicoke Homes — Finding the Right One For You

  22. Francisco says:

    This blog post got me thinking, do you think its possible for you to make reviews of real estate classifieds websites? They can be like this or perhaps more thorough my website is Clasificados Mejores.com so any grammer errors youll catch will have to be in spanish :P

  23. Dexter boyle says:

    Yes sir….i agree we tend to make tons of grammatical mistakes…..
    really liked “I saw the mailman peeking through the window.”

  24. Tim Coakley says:

    Great post. In my opinion good grammar really makes a difference when it comes to professional writing of any type.

  25. More importantly, anything written with poor grammar or spelling can give the reader the wrong impression about you. After all, they could be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars with you. Would you feel comfortable doing that with someone that can’t spell?

    Charles Richeys last blog post..Las Vegas Housing Market: Foreclosures Down, Sales Up

  26. lol Great article! These types of mistakes are very common – and most people don’t even notice them!

  27. I’ve noticed that as I age my grammar has gotten better but my spelling has become atrocious!

  28. Haha, those types of grammar mistakes certainly can result in funny sentences! Sometimes the best thing to do is to write your copy, then set it aside for a few days, and then come back to it with a fresh mind-you’ll find little mistakes you overlooked before by doing it that way!
    .-= Leon Belenky@Miami Homes For Sale´s last blog ..Luxury Homes on the Sunset Islands Miami Florida =-.

  29. Gail Tassey says:

    I often feel like I need to retake 7th grade grammer classes … who would have thought I would be trying to put a coherent sentence together for the public to read at my age? Thanks for some simple reminders.

  30. Patsy Snyder says:

    Since I am a grammar nut, I make it a practice to re-read everything I write and I do catch mistakes by doing this. We get caught up in our content and forget the rules of grammar.

  31. Jim Gilbert says:

    Good post. It is quite easy to hit the wrong key. I agree with Leon that taking time to review a post, maybe a few days later, is a good practice. Don’t depend on spell checkers! They may find a word that you did not intend to write, and call it okay. I also agree with Charles about making a good impression on those who read what we write.

  32. I saw one last week that said :
    “Expensive” views from both master balconies of the Guadalupe River. Sometimes a single letter can make all the difference.

  33. Rebecca says:

    This is the funniest thread I’ve read in some time! Not only do realtors make grammatical errors when they blog, they make the same errors when they ‘comment’ on the blog! Even though we are reminded to think before we type, our brains and our fingers don’t seem to connect. What does that tell us about ourselves??

  34. So Funny and so True! It’s a lot easier to see it than do it :-) thanks for the chuckle

  35. DeeDee Skidmore says:

    I am normally very particular about spelling but with the increase of texting, I am finding myself wanting to type the abbreviated words.  :0

  36. Expressing thoughts the wrong way can be so funny. I can be scatter brained every once in a while, so I occasionally find myself typing things like your examples. However, religiously proofreading usually saves the day.

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