But why is it so important? I mean, if you’re writing an English paper for a class, or your job consists of writing for a living (such as an author or journalism job), of course it’s important. But how can the everyday business man/woman use grammar to succeed in their field?
Below are a few tips for optimizing your grammar and how it can help your business in the long run.
Common Grammatical Flubs
Their are tons of examples of words out there that are completely misused by the average person. From homophones, to using the wrong form of “your” or “you’re,” it’s easy to make an embarrassing grammatical mistake. Most of this is probably due to the fact that many words in the English language sound the same when spoken, but are completely different when written out.
As I mentioned before, misusing “your” and “you’re” is one of the most common mistakes, but “their,” “there,” and “they’re” is also a very common mistake. Always make sure you know which words fit together with the sentence you’re constructing.
Other words, such “affect” and “effect,” are homonyms (words that sound the same but have completely different meanings). If you’re unsure of the correct spelling to use, always look it up in the dictionary or search on the Internet to find the correct spelling and usage.
Proper Grammar Can Make You More Professional
Which one of these sentences sounds more professional to you?
- “During an recent claims adjusting proces, we discovered some concerns with you’re property that must be adressed.”
- “During a recent claims adjusting process, we discovered some concerns with your property that must be addressed.”
Hopefully, you selected the second sentence. When you have to write up a report for your superior, or present to your team, you need to write with correct and proper grammar. It will be very hard to convince others that you know what your’e doing when your grammar is poor; no matter how much research you’ve done or how much knowledge you have about the project.
Proper grammar lets others see that you are passionate about your business, and presents yourself as a professional in your field. Even when you’re interacting with customers, your grammar needs to be top notch. A lot of people, myself included, will turn their nose up at businesses that have spelling or grammar mistakes on their marketing materials (such as advertisements). These so called “grammar nazis” can make or break your business, so make sure you’re always presenting yourself, and your business, in an intelligent, professional light.
Here are some more tips on how to increase your professionalism in your writing:
- Use synonyms to spice up your writing. Ex. use “excellent” or “outstanding” instead of “good.”
- Try to avoid lame cliches like “we think outside of the box” or “we’re focused on making synergistic decisions.” People get tired of hearing these cliches, and they end up sounding insincere when repeated too often.
- Work on correct usage of punctuation. For example, the ellipses is a fun punctuation tool to use…but it consists of three periods, not 5 to infinity. And you don’t need multiple exclamation points to bring home the idea that you’re excited about something!!!! One is plenty!
- Capitalize only important and necessary words. Usually, these are proper nouns and the first word of a sentence. And avoid capitalizing every letter in a word. THIS MAKES IT SEEM LIKE YOU’RE YELLING, and that’s rude.
But, hey, even celebrities make grammar errors (quite frequently, actually) so you’re not alone in this. But it’s good to know that school kids are keeping their grammar straight on Twitter.
Just herd NYC power went out?!?! Is that true
— Ryan Lochte (@RyanLochte) October 30, 2012
— Red Balloon (@redballoonBR) April 15, 2013