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Who is active in the Internet journalistically, usually writes texts. Despite YouTube and Co., the World Wide Web still consists mainly of letters arranged in a row. Whether in the blog, on the company's presence or on social networks - information is usually conveyed in writing. If the publication of written material used to be reserved for expert authors, anyone can let off steam on any topic on the Internet.
The democratisation of journalism brings us many new, interesting offers. But if you read carefully through the net, you will quickly notice that not everyone speaks the language in which they communicate. Since we have been increasingly communicating in writing via chats and short messages, spelling has suffered noticeably. If one has still taken time for a letter, the factor speed seems to take precedence over orthography in the digital world.
While it is arguable whether articles published on the Internet should be structured and worded differently from print articles, compliance with grammar and spelling has no alternative. Only those who make an effort to spell will be perceived as credible and professional.
Nobody is perfect. Everyone has noticed one or two spelling mistakes, even in high-paying newspapers - despite proofreading. If it remains a faux pas, then the reader quickly books it off as a careless mistake. But if he notices a second misstep, the suspicion of sloppiness hardens. The image of the author and the medium suffers. For the author, his texts are like business cards, like recommendations and references for new customers. You should therefore cultivate a good writing style out of pure self-interest.
Every mistake that is recognized gets the reader out of the depths of the text, into which he has ideally already sunk. It distracts the reader from the content and thus impairs readability. While single mistakes are forgiven, a continuously bad grammar and spelling costs visitors. In particular, the regular readership says goodbye when texts are orthographically questionable. In addition, Google also pays attention to spelling. If you don't keep to it, you have to live with a worse ranking.
Not only in the case of editorial offers such as blogs and magazines do spelling mistakes make a bad impression. Potential new customers who want to inform themselves about a company transfer the careless use of language to the quality of the service or product.
Anyone who wants to be taken seriously as a publicist must therefore be able to spell. This also applies if you have decided on a rather loose, perhaps even flapsy writing style. And of course it makes no difference to a professional whether he publishes an article on his own portal or posts something on Facebook or Twitter. Even if it's all the more difficult to spell on social networks, you shouldn't join the ranks of spelling refusers. It's better to stand out than a lighthouse from the "sea of the unsuspecting".
Especially in digital communication and in social networks, false spelling is also an expression of laziness. On a smartphone or tablet, a contribution is written faster if you write everything in small letters. But ignoring upper and lower case spelling makes a text less readable, as do idiosyncratic abbreviations. This is just as true for short posts as it is for long articles. Because a tweet only contains a maximum of 140 characters, it is not too much to ask to read it before publishing.
Digital journalists have an invaluable advantage over their print colleagues: they can correct errors quickly and without leaving any residue. Grammar and spelling mistakes, as well as inaccuracies in content. Not doing this out of sheer convenience is detrimental to your business. In addition, our language is a cultural asset that should not be treated negligently out of respect.
Those who attach importance to spelling will more often than not be faced with the question "How does it actually spell? For me as an author, there is no day when I don't google for grammar and spelling questions, although writing has been one of my main activities for several years. The examination of language is part of publishing. If you don't understand that, you should look for another field of activity.
The spell checker, which we know mainly from word processing programs, helps to eliminate most mistakes even when writing a text. It is not perfect, but a great help without which I would not want to write anymore. If you don't feel like typing your articles into a word processing program first, you can use a plugin for WordPress.
The good old dictionary used to be on the desk, but today most people prefer the Internet. But also here quality prevails and so oed.com is my first point of contact when it comes to questions about grammar and spelling. The offer of the publishing house is free of charge and clear. And as controversial as some Duden decisions may be, you can rely on the dictionary. And that's why I decided, for example, to always follow the Duden recommendation when several spellings are permitted.
In general, there are great explanations of popular spelling questions on the Internet. If, for example, you are always undecided whether "that" or "that" is required, you should take ten minutes to solve the time consuming problem once and for all.
The portal korrekturen.de compares popular errors and explains what is correct and why. In addition various services, which test texts for their quality, are in the net. The BlaBlaMeter, for example, checks how phrase-heavy a text is.
Most mistakes happen in a hurry. You should therefore not write your articles in a hurry. Sure, a news editor can only smile about it. But for most people, who earn their money with texts on the Internet, one day more or less is not important. In order to be able to keep regular submission or publication dates nevertheless, one should create oneself a small article buffer. Not only does it make you feel good, it also leaves room for proper corrections.
For those who do it anyway, it sounds like a matter of course, but unfortunately I know too many bloggers who don't correct their texts before publishing them. Of course, concentrated proofreading costs time, but it's the only way to find out what's wrong. I personally read every article at least twice. Immediately after it is finished and at the earliest one day later. The time gap is important because you have internalized the text so much by writing it down that you can easily read over many mistakes. With a little distance you will notice them better.
Of course, it is perfect if an independent person does the proofreading. But if you publish regularly, you can't ask your partner for help every day, so independent proofreading is usually reserved for important texts only. Those who can afford it can, of course, also fall back on professional proofreading or even editing.
My personal tip: read texts aloud. This gives you a better feeling for what you have written and its sound. Unflinching formulations are immediately noticeable.
Those who read themselves train their language skills. What the German teacher warned me to do, I can only guess. Good literature trains writing while reading. And in a holistic way. Book readers not only have better grammar and spelling, but also a more elegant writing style and a feeling for language.
In this case, reading means above all what most people (think) don't have time for: The linguistically perfect high literature. It brings us closer to language and writing in a completely different way than reading shallow entertainment. Nevertheless, daily newspaper reading also shapes one's ability to express oneself - whether read on paper or on screen.
For those who want to deal directly with (journalistic) writing themselves, Wolf Schneider's books, for example, are recommended. Light, instructive and humorous, Bastian Sick spent years dealing with the pitfalls of the German language in his "Spiegel" column called Zwiebelfisch. You can read them online or buy them as a book.
For many students, the grammar units in German lessons are not exactly their favourite lessons.
An indication of the reason for this is the frequency with which students ask questions about the meaning of grammar learning. And this is not even completely absurd: Why should they learn complicated rules and even more exceptions for something they think they already know quite well - namely their mother tongue? What does it help them to know, for example, which sentence element can be marked as a predicate in the magazine? As a rule, it is clear to the student what the correct sentence should be, even without this knowledge.
To make matters worse, grammatical terms in primary school are first given German and later Latin names.
But confusion is not only caused by terms: Colour assignments are intended to make it easier for pupils to work with word types and phrases. Since, however, there are no generally applicable guidelines for the choice of colours, a change of textbook or teacher can mean that the familiar assignments from one school year to the next no longer apply.
In order to convey the grammar to primary school pupils in an age-appropriate way, the rules are simplified. However, these simplifications often do not cover all aspects of German grammar.
In the higher classes this can lead to the primary school rules proving to be insufficient or even illogical. For many pupils, it is not easy to get the memorable rules out of their heads: When verbs are called "do words", even primary school children often notice that they do not always stand for someone "doing" something. Verbs can also describe processes or states (e.g. "It rains"). It is also difficult that with this definition things can "do" actively (e.g. with "Der Boden knarzt"). A didactic reduction is unavoidable in the case of the imparting of grammar knowledge in primary school. It is just as important to create a solid basis on which to build without illogical aspects.
When it comes to teaching grammar, teachers do not have it easy to conjure up exciting lessons. Grammar teaching is considered rigid and rather dry. A large proportion of grammar textbooks do not encourage much thought to be given to this view.
Fortunately, there are now some teaching materials that present grammar more vividly. More and more, the focus is on discovering learning. A further aid are teaching aids that make it easier to convey grammar rules vividly.
In short: For many students, grammar teaching is more of a burden than an aid to a better understanding of the language. Learning something just to have learned it, learning as an end in itself, is unsatisfactory. This is just as true for grammar as it is for any other field of learning. But if you can show your students that it makes sense to learn grammar, give them the opportunity to develop motivation to learn.
Anyone who learns or has learned Latin can easily answer the question about the meaning of grammar learning: Only those who have mastered the grammar rules can translate Latin sentences correctly. Learning vocabulary alone is of little help. Many pupils or even students only understand the grammar rules when they learn Latin. So at a time when it really makes sense to learn grammar.
One key to motivating students to learn more grammar is to answer the "question of meaning":
Grammar is, so to speak, the operating system of any language. If you take the trouble to deal with it, you will discover the logic and structure of the language (and the kind exceptions and rules). Once you have made this effort, the knowledge can be applied to other languages. Differences and similarities emerge and make it easier to discover laws and learn the language. Conversely, without the knowledge of the grammar of a foreign language, we would sound as funny as the automatic translation by a computer program. But it's far less funny when we don't laugh at computer translation, but a native speaker abroad laughs at us.
Now the resourceful student could ask why he should learn German grammar, which he intuitively uses correctly. That of the foreign language would therefore be sufficient. The answer should be clear: Because it is much easier to learn the grammar of one's own language than that of a foreign language.
Comma punctuation is still a rather unpopular topic for students. Many teachers don't even bother to correct these mistakes because of the abundance of commas that are set incorrectly or not at all outside the subject of German. This is mainly due to the fact that most students set commas by feeling. Unfortunately, their feelings are often deceptive. That's why there are comma rules. Problematically, these are based on the grammar rules ...
There is also a lack of grammatical understanding behind some spelling mistakes. Examples that are often used are the confusion of "that" and "that" or the upper and lower case of words. This is particularly difficult for students with substantiated verbs or adjectives.
In order to interpret poems, factual texts or novels (which is not uncommon in German), it is not only necessary to look at the content. A certain knowledge of grammar is also important for a good evaluation. For example, do certain types of words occur frequently? Are there any conspicuities in sentence structure? Without knowledge of grammar, such peculiarities cannot be recognised and even less analysed.
Expressing oneself correctly in one's mother tongue, in foreign languages and in writing will help every student throughout his school and professional career. We hope that one or the other student will discover a motivation in the above arguments for grammar learning to deal with grammar rules 🙂
In addition to linking grammar learning with a sense, there is also a lot that can be done on the mediation level. The cliché of tough, dry grammar teaching should be replaced by a more lively, self-discovering approach.