Everyone has a list of their pet peeves. I'm no exception. I suspect I'm not exactly in the minority when it comes to these things that some bloggers do. Don't try to excuse these annoyances by telling me it's old school to pay attention to details like the ones I'm going to list.
Hey, I know better than most that the Internet has changed the way we communicate. But that doesn't mean you should be guilty of these writing sins.
7 Deadly Sins of Blogging
1. Thou shall not fail to capitalize the pronoun I.
What's so hard? One simple letter of the alphabet that means so much. Why the frack can't people hit the shift key and capitalize that sucker? I see it in emails, blog posts, comments, and even articles.
2. Thou shall not fail to use end punctuation.
Sheesh! Are you trying to make everyone go blind? I see a block of text with no periods or questions marks, just an occasional upper-case letter. It's like a guessing game trying to figure out what someone is saying.
3. Thou shall not write like you talk if you talk like a valley girl, surfer dude, or some other less-than-intelligent sounding human.
Sweet! Dude! Like, like, like. Totally. Awesome. Dude. The only time this is always funny is in that incredible "dude" scene in Dude! Where's My Car. Otherwise, grow a vocabulary - or you'll sound just as intelligent as those two guys in the movie.
4. Thou shall not drop F-bombs all over the place. For no reason other than shock value.
As a writer, I'm here to tell you that any time you use a word or a phrase, there should be a reason why you use it. If profanity drips from your keyboard, then perhaps you should learn other ways to express your emotions lest the succinct profane word becomes boring rather than a visceral punch.
5. Thou shall not fail to properly use a comma.
You've seen sentences or strings of words with instructions to punctuate in order for the sentence to mean something or for it to mean several different things. Funny huh? And so true. Commas express natural breaks in the rhythm of a sentence, separate items in a series, set off a noun of address, or - hey! If you want to know how to use them, get a good, basic grammar book. There are reasons they are used. There are reasons also for not throwing them in haphazardly because you think one needs to be there. Learn.
6. Thou shall not write blogs that are about as entertaining to read as a 900 page manuscript written in pencil on pink paper about asexual reproduction of ferns. Write about something interesting. Your adventure at a new restaurant versus your day of housecleaning. Be creative and expressive yourself creatively with action verbs. I slammed the book in frustration. versus I was frustrated. I have been reading the emails. versus I churned through the emails. Vary the sentence construction. That means don't start every sentence with subject, verb. For example: The door was solid wood. The rug was in front of the door. The room behind the door was painted black. Make it: A rug lay in front of the solid wood door. Behind the closed door, a black-painted room awaited. Crude examples, but perhaps you see what I mean.
7. Thou shall not use a blog as a weapon to insult, belittle, and disrespect others.
Oh, come on. Grow up. Why do you feel a need to rant about the editor who turned you down? Because you can? That's not a good reason. Don't take your petty or not-so-petty grievances to your reading audience. Sure, controversy may drive traffic, but do you really want to be like one of those who dumped on a guy who later committed suicide. Yes, that really happened. A man, despondent already, committed suicide after a two-week bombardment of hate and insult blogs from others. So this sin has got to be the deadliest of them all.
Sinners, repent. Now, that's a call to action!