Weekend Poll: A Call for Nominations to Shelagh’s 2022 Business Writing Faux Pas Hall of Fame

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.

 

1 - Business writing is a weakness for me; I need to improve this skill2 - I'm competent, yet business writing is not among my strongest skills3 - Business writing is one of my strongest career skills
rarely or neverfairly consistently, yet not more than 75% of my emailsmost of the timealways
rarely or neverfairly consistently, yet not more than 75% of the timemost of the timealways
I don't typically proofread my workI proofread my work only when it's an important documentI proofread the majority of my workI proofread all my written communications
1 - Business writing is a weakness for me; I need to improve this skill2 - I'm a competent speller, though I ensure I have access to an online or hard copy dictionary3 - My spelling skills are strong
YesNo
within the last half yearwithin the last yearwithin the last two yearswithin the last five yearsit was more than five years agoit was more than a decade ago

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