Try Our Sausage. None Like Them! What Is Your Writing Saying About You?

As my good friend Mike Kerr always reminds me, incorporating humor into the workplace is a key step toward increasing employee satisfaction and productivity. But while it’s one thing to share a collective guffaw with your colleagues, it’s quite another to leave them giggling in their boots because you’ve filled their Inboxes with yet another document peppered with writing blunders. In the end, it’s really no joking matter: everything you write is a statement about your professionalism, your competence, and (dare I say?) even your intelligence.

Consider what various readers thought when they came across these doozies:

On A Resume

  • Career break in 1999 to renovate my horse.

On A University Essay About History

  • Jefferson believed in laissez-fairyism.

On A Butcher’s Sign

  • Try our sausages. None like them.

On A Lost-And-Found Board

  • Wallet belonging to a young man made of calf skin

On A Newspaper Headline

  • Tiger Woods Plays With Own Balls, Nike Says

 

Now while you might not be guilty of such egregious blunders, if you’re anything like the thousands of other businesspeople who stress more about writing than any other aspect of their professional life, you’ve probably made your share of innocent – though no less dangerous — mistakes. Think not? Then read the following paragraph and see if you can pick out the 15 errors I’ve embedded:

There are few things as embarrasing for the businessperson as the indavertant writing mistake. Sure, its easy to laugh when we come across a mispelled word in a magazine ad or on a billboard, but it’s a different story when you’re reputation is on the line. Imagine how youd feel if you sent an error-filled memo to your boss. Or one of your employees. How would they view your professionalism? And if you think this is one of those times you can explain away your mistakes with ‘could of’ and ‘should of’, think again. In the end, their is only so much damage you can do before it comes back to haunt you, irregardless of your position with the company. Between you and I, writing is an area that has been ignored for far, too long. And its only going to get worse as the use of cell phone’s becomes more popular.

 

If you’re scratching your head trying to come up with them, fear not! Scroll down below to find the answers:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are few things as embarrasing for the businessperson as the indavertant writing mistake. Sure, its easy to laugh when we come across a mispelled word in a magazine ad or on a billboard, but a different story when you’re reputation is on the line. And it is with everything you write. Imagine how youd feel if you sent an error-filled memo to your boss. Or one of your employees. How would they view your professionalism? And if you think this is one of those times you can explain away your mistakes with ‘could of’ and ‘should of’, think again. In the end, their is only so much damage you can do before it comes back to haunt you, irregardless of your position with the company. Between you and I, writing is an area that has been ignored for far, too long. And its only going to get worse as the use of cell phone’s becomes more popular.

  • embarrasing is misspelled. The correct spelling is embarrassing.
  • inadvertant is misspelled. The correct spelling is inadvertent.
  • its is a possessive pronoun. The correct word in this situation should be it’s, a contraction for it is.
  • mispelled is misspelled. The correct spelling is, well, misspelled.
  • you’re is a contraction for you are. The correct word in this situation is your, a possessive pronoun..
  • And it is with everything you write. is a sentence fragment. There’s no subject in this sentence.
  • youd is a contraction for you would. The correct spelling is you’d.
  • Or one of your employees. is a sentence fragment. There’s no verb in this sentence.
  • could of and should of are patently incorrect. The correct phrases are could have/could’ve and should have/should’ve.
  • their is a possessive pronoun. The correct word in this situation is there.
  • irregardless is not a word!. People are guilty of creating a hybrid between irrespective and regardless.
  • Between you and I is just plain wrong… always. The correct usage is Between you and me.
  • its is a possessive pronoun. The correct word in this situation should be it’s, a contraction for it is.
  • phone’s is wrong. You never, ever, ever make a word plural by adding an apostrophe. The correct word here is phones.

 So… keep it funny in the workplace. Just make sure nobody’s laughing at your expense.

Best-selling author Michael Vlessides – aka The Textman – teaches business writing to clients big and small, near and far. Visit his web site (www.textmanwritingworkshops.com) for the full run-down on the services, workshops, and keynotes he offers. You can also reach him directly at mike@textmanwritingworkshops.com or 403.609.4431.

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