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Should Articles Follow Rules Of Grammar?

kurt
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Joined: 10 May 11
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Should Articles Follow Rules Of Grammar?

I'm having trouble with this article I'm writing. In several places I have used "them" or "they" when referring to a single person, although technically that is plural. Some of them I might be able to rephrase, but I don't think I can rephrase all of them.

But, I'm told that I should be using either "he/she", "he or she", "him/her" or "him or her" instead But, personally I think that sounds weird when you read it if you word your sentences like that. Funny how the way we talk has to change when we put it in writing.

Anyway, should you follow the rules of grammar? Does that make your site seem more professional and trust worthy? Or is it okay to use "they" when referring to single person?
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Last edited by kurt on 03 Apr 14 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 

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aletta
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Hey Kurt,

I wouldn't worry about the rules of grammar too much. What's more important is that someone reading your article finds it easy to read and understand.

If you think having he/she makes it easier to understand -- do it. If you think that a "they" is a more "normal" way of saying it, keep it like that.

Just whatever is easiest to read and understand. Unless you're writing annual general reports, newspaper reportage or press releases, I think you can relax the rules of grammar a little and just write like you talk. It's more engaging that way.
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aletta
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Oh, but an easy way to get around your particular problem: If it makes sense, make your subject a person. Give them a name. (There goes that "them").

Eg, "If a person wants to eat cake, they should eat it all the time"
= "If jolly Joe Bloggs wants to eat cake, he should eat it all the time"

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Otherwise screw it, just go with "they". Everyone else does it :)
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cecille.l
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Hi Kurt,

You need to follow the rules of grammar on your articles at all times, but when it comes to writing, particularly creative writing, grammar is sometimes sacrificed to make the story/article more real.

Grammar dictates if you're referring to a single person, then it should be him or her. If referring to a group of people, then use "they" but you have to consider the context of what you're trying to say. My personal rule as far as grammar is "If it doesn't sound right, then it probably isn't."

The following article is interesting and might help you decide which to use: Singular “they” and the many reasons why it’s correct

Hope that helps. Have a good day!
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Cecille


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kurt
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Ok, thanks for the advice. I think I better ignore the rules of grammar here and go with what sounds right then. And to me, "they" sounds right, and "he/she" does not.
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kallayprasanth05
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Articles written in good English if not better can do a world of good to your cause. Good writing definitely has the capability to build your brand.
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thejewel
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Proper grammar is important but not the be all and end all of websites. At the end of the day, quality content is what will give you new and returning visitors. As long as your message is clear and easily understandable, then you're good to go.

Not everybody online is a grammar nazi. :)

Have a great week!
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doublebonus10
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I think it of-course need. because when i did post an article then they review it and then post it. So i think it is very rear case about grammar. So when you want to post article then you can do online grammar test. Then i think it will be published ASAP.
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cecille.l
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kallayprasanth05 wrote:Articles written in good English if not better can do a world of good to your cause. Good writing definitely has the capability to build your brand.


This is true. Good grammar should be present on the content we share on our website, but this is a flexible rule. It can be bent here and there, particularly if the article or the voice behind the article requires it.

We are writing about real like and our readers are looking for solutions, not the proper use of "is" and "are".

My two cents. Have a good day!
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Cecille


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This topic was started on Apr 03, 2014 and has been closed due to inactivity. If you want to discuss this topic further, please create a new forum topic.