More and more individuals are providing online content and there are those who will get away with using grammatically incorrect phrases to emphasize a point or seek out attention but if you are serious about advancing a senior level career it is as imperative to pay strict attention to relaying grammatically correct information within your online profiles just as it is to do so in your professional resume.
One of the most common mistakes I see is, “your going to research” or “your not”. The grammatical correction is, you’re going to research” or “you’re not”, which is the contraction for “you are”. You is singular and there is no such word as Yous, although it is amazing the number of people that have chosen to add it to their vocabulary.
The following words are often found in grammatically incorrect content:
to, too and two– “To” is most commonly used but if you are talking about “too” many or they went along “too”, think of it as more or in addition to and be sure to add two o’s. Of course “two” refers to the number or quantity of 2.
from and form – No need for explanation here I hope. It is simply a common typo because our fingers tend to strike the letter “o” prior to the letter “r”.
there and their – “Over there”, or “there were two of them” is vastly different than discussing their degree or their expertise. Give consideration to “belonging to” when you use their.
apostrophe s or s apostrophe – This relates to a possessive noun and is a decision based on singular or plural. It is a reference to one company’s reputation or more than one, such as our companys’ reputations.
effect and affect – “The effect on the group was evident.”, or “The sound did affect the audience.” Although often confused, a tip to consider is whether you are relaying the word as a noun or a verb. Effect being the noun, often referring to a result whereas affect is used as a verb meaning, “to influence”.
where and were – Were is not a part of who, what, where, why and when. “Where are you going?”, is not the same as “Were you going to the store?”
Spell check will not help to correct the above noted grammatical faux pas and more often than not, will not correct the spelling errors that are often made when addressing an American audience versus a Canadian audience. There are many words that are spelled differently in the US than in Canada such as organised and organized or labor and labour.
Writer’s Block, The Web Resource for Communication Professionals is one of many resources available to assist in composing grammatically correct content offering a comprehensive list of writing tips. Don’t discredit the use of a thesaurus as another resource as it displays words as nouns, verbs or adjectives and if you’re still not sure if it is grammatically correct, chose a different word!
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