Agreement Swap: What it is, Why it Matters, and How to Avoid it
As a copy editor, you`re no doubt aware of how important it is to use proper grammar and avoid errors in your writing. But there`s another issue that can crop up in your work that you may not be as familiar with: agreement swap.
So what is agreement swap? Put simply, it`s when one word in a sentence agrees with another word instead of the word it should be agreeing with. For example, consider this sentence: “The group of students were excited.” The subject of the sentence is “group,” which is singular, but the verb “were” is plural, indicating that the sentence is saying that the group is multiple people. This is an example of agreement swap, as the verb should agree with the singular subject.
Why does this matter? Well, for one, it can make your writing seem unprofessional and sloppy. But more importantly, it can hurt your SEO. Search engines use complex algorithms to determine the relevance and quality of a piece of content, and one of the factors they consider is grammar and spelling. If your writing is riddled with agreement swap and other errors, it can lower your content`s ranking in search results, making it less likely that people will find and read it.
So how can you avoid agreement swap? The easiest way is to simply be mindful of it as you`re writing and editing. Always double-check that the verb agrees with the subject it`s supposed to be referring to. If you`re not sure, try rearranging the sentence to make it clearer. For example, in the sentence “The group of students were excited,” you could change it to “The students in the group were excited,” which makes it clear that the verb should be plural.
Another way to avoid agreement swap is to use tools like grammar checkers and proofreading software. These tools can help catch errors that you might have missed, including agreement swap and other grammatical mistakes. Just be sure to use them as a supplement to your own editing skills, not a replacement.
In conclusion, agreement swap is a common mistake that can hurt both the quality of your writing and your SEO. By being mindful of it and double-checking your work, you can avoid this error and create content that is both polished and effective.