Last week’s post about Written and Spoken Credibility Killers hit home with many of you so we thought we’d do a follow-up post. Thomas Greve, a business development manager at EMS World wrote in, “
Thanks Tom. We know many of you are extremely busy professionals who do the bulk of your writing and thinking over the weekend. Before you do, we’d like to share a few more credibility killing red flags that seem to trip up even the most intelligent and articulate of business leaders.
Irregardless of where you sit on this issue, we should take positive steps towards making less grammatical errors in our daily communications. After apprising the situation, it seems to be a continual problem in business today. By correcting these common errors, you’ll sound more intelligent and you’ll go much farther down the path of being a respected business communicator. If nothing else, that will insure you’ll be complemented for your sterling intrapersonal skills.
If you didn’t find at least six errors, then you’re not trying hard enough!
Here are some other common misuses (and abuses) of every day language in business today that I’ve assembled courtesy of the good folks at Chartec, Dictionary.com, MoneyInstructor.com and Grammarist.com. How many of these grammatical gremlins and oratory oversights sound like you?
Except- (preposition) Apart from. Example: All committee members are present except for Ms. Brown.
Averse –(adjective) Antipathy, repugnance, having the feeling of being opposed. Example: She is not averse to increasing her workload.
Effect – (Noun) the result of (Verb) to cause something to be Example: Her speech had the effect of motivating the listeners.
Appraise – (verb) determine the worth of something. Example: The ring was appraised before we purchased it.
Besides – (adverb) Furthermore, in addition to. Example: Besides, several of us will be out of town next week.
Complement – (Verb) To complete something or match it well. Example: Her skills complement the needs of our department.
Continuous – (adjective) Uninterrupted. Example: We couldn’t hear over his continuous talking.
Although these seem to have become interchangeable, many people still require that formal written English fit the following: use “different from” when comparing two things, and use “different than” when you use a whole clause to create the comparison. (Example – Your format looks different from mine. Perhaps this is because the format I used is different than the most common business letter formats.)
*** NOTE, Hank Berkowitz was the featured guest this week on Josh Patrick’s Sustainable Business podcast. The topic was Thought Leadership Content.
Further – (adverb) More or additional – but not related to distance. Example: We need to have a further discussion on that.
Less – (adjective or adverb) To a smaller extent, amount or degree – used with quantities that cannot be individually counted. Example: If they made less noise, we could concentrate.
Principle – (noun) Basic truth, policy or action. Example: It’s important to stick to our principles.
Irregardless – This is not a word. (Yes, you may find it in your dictionary, but you’re only embarrassing yourself if you use it.)