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.”
Too: also; in addition; besides; excessively; very
“There are too many people in this room; it’s starting to feel crowded.”
“When you buy my product bundle, you’ll get a free coaching call, too.”
8. Their / There / They’re
Their: his or hers; relating to people as possessors of a thing or an action
“We’re going over to their house tomorrow.”
“They have lost their minds!”
There: in or at a place; to or into a place; at a point or stage; similar to the word “here” (minus the “t”)
“There is nothing else I can do about this situation.”
“Take off your shoes and put them over there.”
They’re: “they are”
“They’re the cutest twin babies I’ve ever seen!”
“Time and money: they’re two of the things we need the most.”
9. Worse / Worst
Worse: of more inferior quality, value or condition; bad; corrupt; unfavorable; difficult
“This month’s financial report is worse than the last; I know things look bad, but they can always get worse.”
“The food at that new restaurant is worse than people said in the online reviews.”
Worst: most corrupt, bad or evil; least skillful; most lacking in quality, value or condition
“This is the worst food I’ve ever eaten.”
“Our team is the worst in the whole bowling league.”
10. Your / You’re
Your: of or relating to yourself or oneself as a possessor; used like the article “the”
“Your mindset has to change if you want better results.”
“This is your last chance to buy my ebook at a discounted price!”
You’re: “you are”
“You’re missing out on all kinds of fun in my Facebook group.”
“You’re in! Now check your email to get the freebie I sent you.”
Now you’re ready to crush it on social media and look good doing it!
Don’t forget to click here to download a copy of this list, and if you need a little more help, send me a message today or schedule a free, no-obligation call to discover if my services are right for you.
by Jennifer Westbrook | JenWestWriting Editing & Marketing Services