Have you ever been sucker-punched?
Almost every day, in fact.
It’s happened at work, on the bus, and just last night it happened while I was lying in bed.
I opened up my book, and then all of a sudden, BAM:
Jenny and John were on there way home from school.
I was flabbergasted! (Yes, my flabber was gasted.)
How could grammar do this to me? All this time, I thought we were friends...
But words are slippery devils, capable of both flattery and subversion.
So, if you want to tame these wild beasts and not let them cheap-shot your readers in the middle of a sentence and draw them closer instead, then I know a few simple plugins that can help you out.
I came across this program just a few weeks ago, and I haven’t turned back.
Somewhere I read that it was “like Microsoft Word on steroids.”
(It wasn’t an exaggeration.)
It’s a Google Chrome extension, checking your grammar while you’re typing just about anywhere online. But while it throws in the familiar green and red underlines, what I like most is the educational aspect about the tool.
Hover your mouse over a mistake and a pop-up window will inform you of the correct spelling / usage, while also telling you exactly why that’s the case (with an opportunity to go even further detail, if you so choose).
“Teach a man to fish…” something, something, something.
You can also use their native word processing program to write longer content (blog articles, listing descriptions, etc.).
It’s entirely free to sign up and use, but they do offer a premium upgrade if you want more juice.
I highly recommend you try it out.
Even the most seasoned wordsmiths can learn a thing or two.
This is a fascinating little piece of software. (Other adjectives you can use are Orwellian, creepy and scary.)
But if you’re looking to improve the effectiveness of your emails - especially if you’re reaching out to warm leads - then this will do the trick. It's not so much of a tool to learn how to say something, but rather to know what it is you should be saying in the first place.
It’s a Gmail extension, which works by cross-referencing a person’s email address and personal information with their social media networks to provide you with the most effective way to elicit a response.
For example, some expect a more personal, friendly introduction, while others won’t give you the time of day if your email is longer than 3 lines.
It’s the art of dialogue, boiled down to an exact science.
And it’s surprisingly accurate.
(How did it know that I respond best to funny jokes in my emails?? You crazy, Crystal Knows, you crazy.)
In order to register, you need to join a waiting list and you’ll be sent an invitation within a week or two. Then they let you take it for a spin around the block before making you pay.
But it’s worth it, even if it’s only for the free trial.
I swear, the things you’ll learn…
Think you don't need to improve your writing?
Try this Contently quiz to find out just how wrong you are, bucko:
So those are just two neat tools that I’ve come across recently, both of which have improved my writing.
I know that there are many more out there.
What do you use?
Braden O'Neill is the Community Manager at RESAAS. He loves to read books that make him sound smart, go snowboarding with people who are better than him, and watch Liverpool FC. Check out his RESAAS profile ›
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