Have you ever read a document that was full of incorrectly used words?
What impression did it give you?
It is quite common for people to use words incorrectly that sound the same but have different meanings. Is this due to laziness or because they never learnt the correct word to use in the first place?
In a business context, the incorrect use of common words can make you and your business appear unprofessional.
Here are some words that are commonly used incorrectly:
Do you have words to add to this list?
How to ensure that you use the correct word
Some simple techniques can help ensure you come across as a credible professional.
Here are three tips to help you use the correct words in your documents.
- Keep a dictionary nearby if you’re not sure which word should be used. By checking its meaning you’ll be able to avoid some embarrassing moments
- Check if there is another word that could be used which has the same meaning and won’t cause any confusion
- Ask someone else to check your document – a fresh set of eyes can often find errors that we don’t see.
We know what we mean to write. Unfortunately, it is not always what we actually write.
You may be thinking, “I’m ok, I’ll just use the spell checker.”
What a great back up tool. However, BEWARE!
Look at this passage which made it through the spell checker with flying colours.
Catch that Spilling Error
As an addled service, I am going two put this peace in the spilling checker where I tryst it will sale threw with flying colons. In this modern ear, it is simply inexplicable to ask readers to expose themselves to misspelled swords when they have bitter thinks to do.
An adaptation of a passage written by Norwood B Gove in the Scholarly Publishing October 1989.
One final note …
In this day and age of smart phones and texting, remember that if you reply to or write a business email on your phone you should be using ‘real’ words and complete sentences.
Are you coming to the meeting tomorrow?
R u coming 2 the meeting 2morrow?
By focusing on using the correct words you’re on your way to writing a professional looking document.
Share your thoughts and writing experiences.
If you would like to learn more ways to write clearly, then you may be interested in my Business Writing Made Easy online course or contact me for a no obligation discussion about your business writing needs.