How We Cheat
It’s true. We’re cheaters over here at Wix. And we take shortcuts. Why? Because they make us better writers. The 100+ professionals in our Writers’ Guild produce massive amounts of content every single day. Thousands of words for our product, knowledge base, landing pages, YouTube campaigns and more. Charged with creating countless lines of text and crunched for time, we are grateful for all the help we can get—and we’re not ashamed to admit it.
In fact, we are happy to help other content writers out there do the same. We think these are some of the best grammar websites for writers to have bookmarked in their browser. So here’s a look at the tools we use to cheat or, more accurately, to help us do our jobs that much better.
Grammarly Now I know that there are haters, but I am a Grammarly devotee, loyal and true. Wix is a fast-paced work environment and whether I am typing out an email to some VIPs or publishing an article for this very blog, I want to save face and avoid any typos or grammar mishaps. Do I know the difference between there, their and they’re? Absolutely. Do I sometimes mistype them as I am punching away at my keys like a maniac, trying not to knock over my cereal bowl with the mouse? Yep. But Grammarly checks my work for me, as I write. And it’s not just typos—their awesome add-on reminds me to put in commas, fix apostrophes and more.
Capitalize My Title Sure, it’s a no-brainer that in, at and the should be lowercase in a title. But what about about? And who woulda thought that is should always be capitalized? The rules can be confusing—and they vary depending on country, culture and whom you ask. So why take the risk? Before I publish a single blog or send a new page of content over to design, I check my headlines in CapitalizeMyTitle.com. I simply copy/paste my title into their handy tool, check for mistakes and hit publish, confident I’ve avoided any capitalization snafus.
Thesaurus There’s this myth about writers that we are able to tap into the recesses of our brains at any moment and find just the right word for a given sentence or situation. Here at Wix, people have often asked me to quickly help them write a headline, an email subject line or a call to action and I’m expected to mentally sieve through the tens of thousands of words in the English language until I find just the right one for the context at hand. Well, guess what, fellows? Sometimes, I can’t think of it. Enter Thesaurus.com. It’s a great tool for helping me find just the right word. Thesaurus.com is also invaluable to my work as an editor. When a writer has used a certain word one too many times in their latest submission, it’s my go-to resource for finding another way to say it.
Urban Dictionary Wix writes for audiences around the world and our writers hail from dozens of countries. While I am of the opinion that they are, on the whole, a very savvy crowd, even the coolest of writers can’t possibly keep up with every trending terminology that’s flooding the English language. Urban Dictionary, however, can. So when we come across a phrase that we’re not quite sure how to use, or if we want to double-check that we’ve used an expression in the right way, Urban Dictionary never fails us.
Which or that? I have a confession, and it’s tough for me as an editor to write these very words. Sometimes, I just can’t say for sure if a sentence should use “which” or “that.” When the situation arises, I always refer back to this incredible, little piece by Brian Klems. His simple example about the bathrooms in a fictional Cincinnati office place has helped me more times than I can count.
Common comma errors The rules around commas are complicated, confusing and incredibly numerous. Every so often, I like to reread this Ben Yagoda piece to give myself a refresher. The article is also a great place to send people if they don’t believe you about a comma rule that you know you’re right about! Some of those comma rules can surprise even the most seasoned writer and Ben explains them well, with clear and creative examples.
How do you cheat? Share your favorite grammar websites in the comments below.
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Rachel Olstein Kaplan