I know I’m a small fry in the writing and blogging communities, but I’ve been around long enough to learn a thing or two. These days I find it easier to spot marks of amateurism in someone’s space online, particularly since I often commit such faux pas myself. Because I tend to make my own mistakes, I generally try to be forgiving when other people do. However, I have a set of habits, design features, etc. that really bother me.
- White text on a black background. I hate this. I don’t know about you guys, but reading a blog with this colour scheme makes me see stripes.
- Massive paragraphs. It’s so easy to get lost and makes skimming impossible. This is something I used to do all the time and I have to make an effort to break up my paragraphs to prevent it from happening again.
- Not proofreading. Often the little, annoying mistakes will be picked up by the inbuilt spellcheck most blogging sites and some web browsers provide. It’s one thing to make a typo every so often, but most of the time error-ridden posts simply haven’t been proofread, resulting in a number of errors beyond what could possibly be acceptable.
- Internet-speak. While I occasionally use “lol” and emoticons in my blogs and comments, I try to do this sparingly. What is really the problem here is replacing words with numbers or omitting letters, such as “you” becoming “u”. Unless you’re texting your friends or absolutely have to use this to cut down on Twitter characters, just don’t do it. It looks tacky.
- Not researching articles. For your average blog post, this normally isn’t an issue, but I’ve been seeing this happen more and more often in places such as professional news websites, particularly editorials and opinion pieces. Yes, you can have an opinion, but that does not mean you don’t do legitimate research to back up your arguments. That’s the biggest thing that irritates me about anti-YA articles.