I’m creating a 2022 Business Writing Faux Pas Hall of Fame
… with the best of intentions! Last month, I enjoyed spending time on Prince Edward Island (PEI) with members of Canada’s Association of Administrative Professionals (AAP). In one of my presentations for the AAP’s national conference, we focused on business writing and the potential reputational impacts our writing may have on individuals and their employers.
It occured to me that it would help if I built and published a list of common mistakes readers can reference. These include misplaced punctuation, homophones – words that are pronounced the same, yet have different meanings, such as new and knew, as well as there, their and they’re – and more.
Applauding those who communicate in more than one language
It’s easy to make grammatical and other mistakes, even when English is our first language. On more than one occasion, I’ve expressed my admiration to International Management Assistants (IMA) members and other assistants I know who are fluent in two or more languages. I took a bit of university level French and did well, yet that was a while ago. What we don’t use, we tend to lose.
What mistakes do you see, or make yourself?
What are some of the English language grammatical or spelling mistakes you see or make in your career? Which ones would you add to this rather different hall of fame? Again, while having fun with the hall of fame theme, and while we can (perhaps after the fact) laugh at the outcomes of some communication miscues, this is intended to be constructive and helpful for you and your peers.
I’ve begun my list, and have some great contributions from LinkedIn readers. I’d love, though, to see your nominations for this collection. I’ll start us off with a couple more homophones we see misused, then and than, and a reminder that, while apostrophes can represent a contraction of two words, they can also imply possession.
A bit of fun; autocorrect gone haywire
In this quick poll, I also invite you to share examples of situations in which the autocorrect function has led to a funny or awkward communication.
This takes us, then, to the focus of this Weekend Poll: What are some of the English language grammatical or spelling mistake you see in your career?
What are some of the English language grammatical or spelling mistake you see in your career?
Please know I may edit responses for publication, without detracting from the intended message. I do this for brevity, to correct a typo, and/or when there are a number of responses that are similar in content.
Please take a couple of minutes to complete the poll below.