Avoid these common grammar mistakes when creating your next catalog.

Grammar Mistakes That Will Tank Your Catalog Sales

Catalogs, like any of your printed materials, give readers a permanent opinion of your business. It is very important to avoid grammar mistakes. Words that may be acceptable when spoken are not acceptable on page. When you begin catalog printing, allow plenty of time to proofread and correct any errors. You will catch many of these mistakes by simply reading and re-reading your catalog. Grammar mistakes have a way of sticking out.

  1. There, their, and they're

    It is easy enough to misuse these commonly used words. Remember the proper use of each word. (e.g., There is a cat over there. Their cat is over there. They're over there.)

  2. It's and its

    These little words have a rule all their own. It is equals it's. Whenever you use it's in a sentence, simply substitute with it is to see if it works. If the sentence does not make sense, then you should use the its form. Its is used to show possession (e.g. It's hard to make readers interested in a catalog when its grammar is incorrect.) You can do it.

  3. i.e. and e.g.

    When you choose to use these Latin abbreviations in your catalog printing, be careful. They are easily misused. The abbreviation i.e. stands for id est, which translates to "that is." Use it for making clarifying a point. On the other hand, e.g. stands for exempli gratia which translates to "for example." Use it when you give examples.

  4. Misusing apostrophes

    Use apostrophes sparingly. When you want to contract two words, then you use an apostrophe. When you want to show possession, use an apostrophe. Here are some examples: "I can't make you talk when you don't listen and they're being loud." "Sally's cat is playing with Will's dog's hamster toy."

  5. Loose and Lose

    Similar words with similar sounds are not the same words. These particular words stick out when misused. Loose means "not tight" and lose means "not winning." Keep these definitions in mind and check for the correct use of these words before catalog printing.

  6. Lay and lie

    Again, these words are similar but not the same. You lay something down and you lie down. The confusing part comes when using the past tense of "lie." If you took a nap yesterday, then you would say, "I lay down for a nap yesterday." Otherwise, use lay only when talking about placing an object.

  7. Could of, would of, and should of

    You would probably not notice if your friend used these phrases in a conversation. However, they are very unprofessional when printed. Your goal of intelligent catalog printing should include could have, would have, and should have.

With thorough proofreading and knowledge of these common errors, you probably will not have a hard time finding them. Read your catalog out loud before you finish it, since you will be able to more easily see and hear the awkward use of incorrect grammar. And even though these mistakes are rather common, they will ruin your catalog for you and your clients, giving you the appearance of an unintelligent company unable to meet their needs.

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