{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "This is embarrassing for me to ask but I think I should hire a private tutor to help me with my grammar. Can anyone recommend someone that teaches more than ESL and basic grammar lessons? I majored in English but it seems none of my professors bothered to correct my grammar so I thought it was fine until my colleagues at work who aren't writers started pointing out my grammar mistakes.", "post_id": "617af0e2bea51a002b0c326b", "reply_count": 42, "vote_count": 1, "bowl_id": "591a223804ff130016b983f4", "bowl_name": "Copywriters", "feed_type": "bowl" }
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This is embarrassing for me to ask but I think I should hire a private tutor to help me with my grammar. Can anyone recommend someone that teaches more than ESL and basic grammar lessons? I majored in English but it seems none of my professors bothered to correct my grammar so I thought it was fine until my colleagues at work who aren't writers started pointing out my grammar mistakes.

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You shouldn't be embarrassed by this. I'm working client side after years in the agency world and it's never been more clear to me that ad writers don't really write...so, knowing grammar isn't part of the job (for the most part).

That said, you should at least have some passable knowledge of grammar, but you don't need to be an expert by any means. As mentioned somewhere in here, strict adherence to grammatical guidelines doesn't make for the best of writers anyway.

I'd agree with the Grammarly suggestion though. That's been a helpful tool for me Either way, the only path toward getting better is constantly re-reading your work and reading it out loud. You'll fix most, if not all mistakes that way, outside of the rare oddities and rules you just might not know.

likesmart

Agreed. I used to be a proofreader and a copy editor, and countless writers over the years have tried to tell me grammar doesn’t matter, but you can’t break the rules until you understand them. I really admire you for wanting to learn!

likesmart

Your agency should be getting copy proofed before it’s final, anyway, so put it back on them. Explain that you are there to provide creative ideas and execute them as copy, not to be a copy editor. It’s also much harder to catch errors in your own writing because your brain will just fill in what it expects to be there rather than looking at what’s really there. Just like an art director isn’t usually expected to provide animation, you shouldn’t have to provide proofing — it’s a different skill. And your coworkers aren’t qualified either. Even if they were total grammar experts, which they are not, good copy is usually not synonymous with perfect grammar. Most brands have a voice that sounds like the way people talk, which is full of tons of little conversational quirks that would fail a grammar test. I admire your wanting to improve your skills and think you should pursue that, but you should separate that goal from your work situation. Your agency is not doing this right and they’re trying to put it on you. (Also, try reading aloud if you aren’t doing that already. Sometimes that helps catch things because you will hear that it doesn’t sound right, even when it looks right on the screen.)

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Don’t let grammar get in the way of good writing. 😎

likesmart

I hear you. I was somewhat joking. It all depends on what you’re writing. Headlines and pithy copy can occasionally get away with it where longer form like subheads, emails, body copy tend to be more by the book. As long as what you’re writing is the best and shortest way to say what you need to say then don’t sweat someone calling out an Oxford comma. Someone suggested grammarly, that’s a good idea. Also google docs has tools for grammar. Maybe start there. No need to be embarrassed. You got this.

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grammarly works pretty well if you aren’t already using it.

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I've used the free version but didn't find it too helpful. Do you have the premium version? Is it worth it?

People will edit my work but I've had performance reviews before where they tell me I need to work on my grammar. I will take it as a hint that I should work on this if I want to move up.

Grammar is for wusses

likefunny

Interesting.

Can you give more context? What kinda grammar mistakes are they pointing out? Who's the one pointing it out? And why would they?

I dunno, nobody's ever pointed out any grammatical mistakes to me or to anyone I know of and I worked in Asia, Australia, and America 🤔

What kinda work environment are you in? 🤔


Ngl I once had a strat director drop grammar corrections everywhere and I ripped him a new one. Some people like to think they can use facile high school grammar 101 to lord it over people. 🤭

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Thanks for the rec! Just got this in the mail today. I'm hoping to finish it before my new job starts!

likeuplifting

Thank you. I think I have used Grammar Girl before and liked it. I'll go back to her and maybe look to hire a copy editor.

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What do you mean “beyond basic grammar”? Grammar Girl is a great source and I feel like she goes beyond the basics. Do you mean you need help with technique? You might ask a freelance copy editor to work with you. Give them some of your writing and have them mark it up and show you how it can be improved with justifications.

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Like, what is a sentence you wrote that needed correcting?

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Agree, yours is better. You’ll meet a lot of people in this industry that just want to change things (or “fix” them) so it feels like they did something or contributed to the project.

Also, great writing isn’t beholden to grammar per se. know the rules, but also don’t be afraid to break them. And if someone stuff insists you do it their way, it’s all good.

Yes just run your stuff through Grammerly for a last check before throwing it over.

funny

“Tushy”! Copywriter 2! LOL!

Once I rewrote the brilliant scripts from the Copy Book. You know what? Grammarly suddenly found lots of grammar mistakes.

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Don’t feel embarrassed for wanting to take action to improve your skills and acumen. I applaud you, and say “Go for it!”

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I usually run all my copy through Grammarly.

Not commenting on you when I say this but I don’t think grammar might be as important as you think. I am regularly handed scripts from junior copywriters up to ECDs with epic run-on sentences that Henry James would be proud of.

Advertising is common vernacular. American advertising is basically talking to the least common denominator. If it “sounds right” it’s probably ok.

It’s more about clarity. You should be able to point to a single idea you’re expressing at any given moment. A writer is an artist who paints with ideas.

Try the grammarly add on. It catches tons of things in my drafts and my grammar is pretty good already. Free or paid depending on how in depth you want to get.

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