Grammar is a funny thing: we all think we remember our lessons from grammar school yet, in day-to-day business writing situations, we seem to make an increasing number of mistakes. Even in communication between business executives, it’s becoming increasingly common to spot misspellings as well as improper grammar.
While many now argue that the formality of grammar is no longer necessary, or perhaps even an inconvenience (note: who wants to worry about grammar when texting or tweeting?), I see it as a question of preciseness and respect: preciseness in terms of one’s ability to convey a message in a clear way, and respect in terms of taking the time to ensure that it is easily and clearly readable by the target recipient or audience. While grammar may be a bit old-fashioned, it does serve a valuable purpose in effective communication.
The following eight tips cover the most commonly-confused grammar rules you and I see on a regular basis. I did my best to convey the explanation in layman’s terms since few of us are grammarians; instead, we all simply want to sound respectable and to write in a professional, concise, and clear way that conveys the professionalism due in business communication.
This is my first video-based blog entry; additional videos in this series will appear over time.
#2. Pronouns & Contractions
Their & They’re & There, Your & You’re, Its & It’s
#3. Linking Verbs
Be, feel, taste, look, smell, appear, become, grow, remain, seem, sound, stay
#4. Lie & Lay
#5. Lets & Let’s
#6. Then & Than
#7. Plural vs. Possessive
#8. Words That Sound Similar
Lose & Loose, Effect & Affect, Weather & Whether, Alot &. A Lot, Here & Hear, To & Too, Accept & Except, “Could of” & Could Have, All Ready & Already
What other grammar rules do you see abused and misused?