Note: this is a repeat of a posting I placed on this blog in January, 2005.
Planning to start a weblog (blog) but afraid your command of the English language is a little weak? Afraid your punctuation and grammar is a little rusty? Me too, after all those English classes many of us slept through were a long time ago.
Actually, it’s more important that your writing has a flow to it. I have read passages by masters of the English language that were difficult to read even though they were grammatically correct in every way.
If readers like the style and flow of your blog they are more apt to come back. Your occasional grammatical error is something they will put up with. Hmm…didn’t that last sentence end in a preposition? Oh, well, I say don’t worry about it. Write for your own enjoyment. You are not writing for the Atlantic Monthly.
In general writing, one should avoid phrases meant to impress the reader (or maybe the writer). Don’t you just hate to see the often repeated use of phrases such as “in and of itself”, “by and large”, “all encompassing”, etc. Remedy: write to please yourself. Don’t write to impress others.
Write as if you are speaking to just one person. If you are in awe of a large number of people who could be reading your comments, the output may become stilted using words and phrases that really aren’t “you”.
However, when it comes to your own Blog on the web, there really are no rules. Stilt as much as you like using whatever phrases you like.
It’s your space on the web and you can stilt as much as you like.