Home > Christina > You Gotta Know When to Hold ‘Em: How to Break the Right Rules in Social Media

You Gotta Know When to Hold ‘Em: How to Break the Right Rules in Social Media

Appropriate grammar, mechanics, and punctuation will get you many places in life.  It’ll help you get an “A” on your giant research paper.  It’ll gain you respect among professional colleagues.  But when it comes to social media and image branding, sometimes the best thing to do with a rule is break it.

I am loving it.

I am loving it.

Do you have milk?

Do you have milk?

The skill lies in knowing when and how.

In “Style, Lessons in Clarity and Grace”, Joseph M. Williams offers some tips about using correct grammar, saying, “If you try to obey all the rules all the time, you risk becoming so obsessed with rules that you tie yourself in knots… The alternative to blind obedience is selective observance” (p. 14).

Social media is a great experimental platform when it comes to language usage.  It’s a world of casual expression, so casual grammar is appropriate more often than not, even for professionals.  However, there are still some rules that, if broken, won’t demonstrate style so much as lack of education.  This article offers a great list of grammatical rules that should never be broken in social media.

So.  Learn the rules.  And break a few choice ones for tasteful effect. This is the best way to apply grammar, mechanics, and punctuation in the social media realm.

Williams, Joseph . Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace. 10th ed. New York: Pearson/Longman, 2007. Print.

Categories: Christina Tags: , ,
  1. February 14, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    You are definitely setting a high standard with these posts.

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