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The 10 Most Messed Up Words on Social Media (and how you can use them right)

Oh, social media…how much do we love thee? Let us count the ways…

Ok, maybe you don’t love it. Or maybe you do.

No matter how you feel about social media, it’s here; it’s there, it’s everywhere.

And if you’re someone in business or ministry, or even if you’re neither but want to feel connected to the outside world—or your kids—then you’ve pretty much gotta use it.

Social media seems to move at the speed of light, and keeping up can feel like running a sprint.

There’s so much pressure to stay on top of who-said-what-and-when.

After all, you don’t want to be a day late contributing your witty comment to someone’s viral post, do you? You have to catch the wave while it’s rolling!

Whether you’re a content creator, super-friendly-friend, marketer or keyboard bandit—that’s someone who uses the pseudo-anonymity of the internet to make snarky, mean-girl comments on everything (can’t we all just play nice?)—your words will be much easier on people’s eyes if they aren’t rife with mistakes.

I see this kind of faux pas every day. And it saddens me a bit because errors make people look less credible than they truly are. We know you’re smart, and we’re pretty sure we know what you meant to say—maybe.

But let’s admit it: wouldn’t we all enjoy social media a little bit more if people’s posts were easier to read?

Now, I’m picking on anyone, so if you’re guilty of any of these social media sins, there’s no judgment here; there’s help. And hope. You’re welcome.

Check out my list below of the ten most frequently misused words on social media and learn how to pick the right words to make your posts sound as amazing as you are. You can copy and paste this list to your phone’s memo pad so you can find it anytime, or to download a print-friendly version to your desktop, click here.

1. Affect / Effect

Affect: to act upon or create a response or influence on someone or something

She was negatively affected by the bad news.”

“Rainy weather affects how well farmers can grow soybeans.”

Effect: something that follows a cause or causes something to come into being

“The law goes into effect next week.”

“Painting the room red gives the effect of warmth.”

2. Apart / A part

Apart: separate, at a distance, excluded from

“She gets scared when she’s apart from her mom.”

“I can’t tell those twins apart.”

A part (two words): part of or included within. To be on the safe side, drop the “a” and just use “part.” But if you reeeeally want to use “a part,” here you go:

This is fine: “Thank you for letting me be a part of your event.”

But this is better: “Thank you for letting me be part of your event.”

3. Hear / Here

Hear: to perceive or become aware of something by the ear; to listen; to gain information

“I know you hear me calling your name!”

“Did you hear what happened to sister Johnson?”

Here: in or at this place; in a location; in a present state; now; encouragement or rebuke

“Click here to sign up for my webinar.”

“Here we go, y’all!”

4. Loss / Lost

Loss: ruin; death; destruction; harm; failure

“I’m very sorry to hear about the loss of your friend; may he rest in peace.”

“The championship game was a devastating loss; we couldn’t believe our team didn’t win.”

Lost: no longer possessed; denied; no longer known; unable to find; no longer visible

“I can’t believe she lost the earrings that I let her borrow.”

“After the illness, she lost vision in her right eye.”

5. Midst / Mist

Midst: in the middle of; being surrounded; the central part or point

“She’s in the midst of some personal challenges right now.”

“Lord, please be in our midst.”

Mist: water particles; spray; light rain; moist; blurred

“There’s a light mist of rain now, but it will get heavier later.”

“Try my new moisturizing mist; it keeps your hair soft and nourished.”

6. No / Know

No: the opposite of “yes”

“No, I’m not hungry right now.”

“The answer is no.”

Know: to have an understanding of; to be aware of; to recognize

“Do you know how long this meeting is going to last?” “No, I don’t know how long we’ll be here.”

“Do you know my cousin, Mike?”

7. To / Too

To: indicates direction or movement toward a person, place or thing; relative position or possession; belonging, attachment or connection; extent or degree

“We’re going to the grocery store after church.”

“To whom much is given, much is required.”