Language, Literacy, Teaching

5 Things WordPress Proofreader has Taught me About my Writing

Whenever I type blog posts on WordPress, and click on the proofreader to edit my writing, I have seen a pattern consistently in what it tells me that I need to edit in my writing.  The proofreader has taught me the 5 things I consistently do when I write and has taught me how I need to improve my writing.  It has taught me that as a blogger I need to be more simple with my writing.  I tend to use complex writing techniques and am long-winded.  I’m still learning and still find myself making these mistakes.  Nonetheless, WordPress’ proofreader is teaching me to a better writer.  Sometimes it’s hard to break old habits!

The 5 things WordPress proofreader has taught me about my writing:

1.  I use many cliches.

2.  I like to write in passive voice.  

3.  I tend to use complex expressions.

4.  I insert hidden verbs, and it’s not necessary.  This is a mistake I do a lot!

5.  I sometimes use redundant expressions.

Above all, out of all 5 of these, this is what I have learned I do most:  

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I am an educational professional who is passionate about needs analysis and materials creation to enhance student learning of all ages. I hope the content I share here will be of value to you in some way. Opinions are my own and are not those of my employer. Join me at my session for the 2013 TESOL International Conference, "ESL Instruction: Developing Your Skills to Become a Master Conductor", March 21 10:00 AM in room C144. My presentation focuses on listening, speaking and pronunciation music teaching techniques incorporated with ESL teaching. This is not your typical music/ESL presentation with chants and songs. Be prepared to use your vocal chords, diaphragm, lungs, mouth muscles, and arms like you have never used before in pronunciation, speaking and language instruction. Learn how to use music conducting skills in the language classroom to better facilitate language acquisition. Learn how to use music performance skills (vocal and instrumental) to better facilitate language learning. Be prepared to laugh and have fun. I look forward to meeting you and working with you.

Discussion

19 thoughts on “5 Things WordPress Proofreader has Taught me About my Writing

  1. ;-) You were so right. Just used the proofreader function for the first time (on my last post – after over 12 months with WordPress)….Duh! Such a dumbo ;-)

    I LEARNed a great deal (inc. that I use very little “passive”) ;-) …Thx for the heads up! Happy blogging ;-)

    T..

    Posted by Tony Gurr | April 5, 2012, 3:51 am
    • Yeah, Tony! I’m glad the Proofreader was useful and taught you something. It puts a smile on my face when blog posts I have written have been useful to others somehow. I’m glad my post made you aware of the Proofreader and that it was helpful. I find myself making mistakes still, but less and less as I continue to see the mistakes the Proofreader gives me.

      Posted by adaptivelearnin | April 5, 2012, 2:03 pm
  2. Sometimes complex expressions carry connotations missing from simpler terms. Some clichés are clichés for good reason and any ad writer or television producer worth a damn will verify the value in a good catch phrase. Redundant phrases are mildly annoying but most readers won’t notice those hidden verbs (they are – hidden – ).

    The passive voice, however, is a deadly sin and must, at all cost, be driven from you like the foul demon-spawn that it is.

    Posted by Dane Morgan | March 26, 2012, 7:26 pm
    • Dane,
      Thanks for the insight. I knew that sometimes cliches and complex expressions are okay to use in certain instances in certain writing styles and situations. I am used to doing more academic writing, so blogging is a new thing for me and sometimes I think I get too complex and definitely am too long-winded. Yes, redundant phrases are annoying. I do passive voice too much. I am an ESL teacher, and we teach active and passive voice to our students so that they know the difference. I make the mistake of passive voice too much and the WordPress proofreader has bought it to my attention. Good thing! Maybe I make the mistake of passive voice because I have to teach it so often to my ESL students. Not sure, but that could be plausible.

      Nonetheless, using the proofreader has been helpful and insightful. Sometimes I do click on the cliches and complex expressions and still allow them in the blog post. I’m learning and it is helping me. You are right, passive voice is a deadly sin and that is one of the habits I’m most working on, though it is hard to break old habits. Thanks again!

      Posted by adaptivelearnin | March 26, 2012, 7:40 pm
      • Well, passive voice was invented by academia, so it’s not altogether shocking that you would use it. To a lesser extent I would think some of the others come (I could have said stem) from the same source. But, honestly, anything we can do to increase communication effectiveness is a good thing. Beyond that it’s all so much feeling superior and selling books. ;)

        Posted by Dane Morgan | March 26, 2012, 8:36 pm
  3. This is such great information! I hadn’t been using the proofreader because I figured I didn’t really need it (ah, hubris…) but it seems like it’s a very intuitive and useful tool.

    Posted by PostCollegiate | March 26, 2012, 9:11 am
  4. I have never used the proofreader but this proves I need to. I never even heard of a hidden verb! Great post and I hope more people get to read it.

    Posted by Tom Baker | March 26, 2012, 7:49 am
    • Thanks. I’m glad it is helpful. I too hope more people read this and it is helpful to them as well. I love writing, but didn’t know I do these 5 things until I started using the proofreader.

      Posted by adaptivelearnin | March 26, 2012, 9:55 am
      • I’m writing a post on guest blogging right now and I cannot wait to use the proofreader for the first time – to see how poorly I write! Thanks again.

        Posted by Tom Baker | March 26, 2012, 10:23 am
      • Awesome! I’m glad you will use it. I’m not saying you are a bad writer and need to use it. But, it is always helpful to use it and receive the feedback. It is like receiving constructive criticism from our peers that helps us become better writers. Enjoy seeing.

        Posted by adaptivelearnin | March 26, 2012, 10:53 am
      • No, I was saying it! I’m finished the post and surprisingly it only offered two suggestions and one was not liking the way I spelled Pinterest. The post is scheduled for sometime in May. Thanks again. It is a great tool for bloggers.

        Posted by Tom Baker | March 26, 2012, 11:00 am
      • Tom,
        I’m glad it helped. Nice too that you only had two suggestions and one was the suggestion from because it doesn’t recognize the spelling of Pinterest. I’ve had that happen to me before when I’ve blogged about Pinterest. It is a great tool to keep us aware.

        Posted by adaptivelearnin | March 26, 2012, 7:42 pm
  5. Beth,

    This is really good ;-) I have been using WP for about a year now – did not even know there was a proofreader ;-)

    Take care,

    T..

    Posted by Tony Gurr | March 26, 2012, 7:11 am
  6. I’ve never even noticed the proofread button. Hmm…I’m a little afraid to go near it. LOL

    Posted by kathils | March 26, 2012, 7:10 am

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