Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Little Bits: Squidoo, AC, MySpace, and Grammar for Dummies

After a bit of a publishing drought, I finally had my article on treating dry hair with homemade solutions go live at Associated Content. In honor of that I made a new lens at Squidoo about homemade body and hair care products. I am anxiously awaiting a page view update at AC to see if my lenses are having an impact on my readership.

I also fell into the pit of MySpace. After that exercise in frustration I may yet delete my profile. You can join groups and request friends immediately but you can’t post in any discussions for your first week. That means using their less-than-stellar search function to figure out how to do something creative. You also can’t introduce yourself to a group. I did, however, manage to put this feed and some links on my profile. So far it seems pointless, but I’ll take a few weeks to see if I can build a viable network. Of course, I’ll post about my experiences.

I found an interesting set of categories of English from the English Grammar for Dummies folks. I think that they missed a category, between conversational and formal grammar. This blog shows that mid-range – I do not observe all of the formal rules but I do pay attention to sentence structure, punctuation, and word usage. I try not to break the rules of grammar while writing about them, in other words.

I refer to this range as “Professional English”. You don’t want to sound stilted and pretentious but you wish to be seen as intelligent and, well, professional. It’s the language in which you communicate with clients, bosses, and – hopefully – corporate-level complaints. People take you seriously when they perceive you as literate and level-headed. A rant in professional English portrays frustration and anger without displaying the lack of control that expletives and exclamation points show.

The page does have links to quite a few valuable articles. The one about common suffixes is a useful resource. Spelling words with these endings can make even those with huge vocabularies pause. It’s good to review what the endings actually mean and how to use them.