We all make mistakes. It’s part of being human. Sometimes we get busy and attempt to stretch our minds over multiple tasks, making us prone to committing errors. Other times we just don’t have the proper knowledge.
Some mistakes, such as grammatical ones, are committed so often they may go unnoticed by many. Those who do notice your mistakes, however, might get a good laugh.
Or worse, your grammatical mistakes can make it seem like you’re unprofessional, cheap, or don’t care about your business.
This vs. That – 10 Common Word Usage / Grammatical Mistakes
1. Discreet – Discrete
The culprit: “Discrete shipping…”
What you probably meant: discreet
Discreet means “intentionally unobtrusive” or “careful and circumspect in one’s speech or actions, especially to avoid causing offense or to gain advantage”. Discrete means “individually separate and distinct”. So I guess if you ship your product using camels that might be discrete, otherwise you probably mean discreet.
2. Ensure – Insure
The Culprit: “Our company insures the best quality product”
What you probably meant: ensure
Insure means to apply insurance. You insure your car, your home, your life. You ensure, or”make sure, certain or safe” your products are of the highest quality.
3. Your – You’re
The culprit: “Your the greatest”
What you probably meant: You’re
This one is really easy for me to remember. You’re is the contraction for “you are”. You are the greatest = You’re the greatest. Your indicates possession. That is your coat, that is your customer.
4. Complement – Compliment
The Culprit: “Our product compliments the use of this product”
What you probably meant: complement
Compliment is something nice you say about someone/something. You’re (not your) pretty, is a compliment. Complement means to add to something in a way that enhances or improves it, to make perfect.
5. A lot – Allot – A lot
The culprit: “We get alot of customers asking…”
What you probably meant: a lot
Alot is not a word. I know this because my 7th grade English teacher beat it into our heads. Some people try to over-correct and use “allot” but this means to allocate, or distribute.
6. Anyway – Any way
The Culprit: “We deliver the product anyway you want it”
What you probably meant: any way
Anyway basically means “regardless”. “I’m going to eat this sandwich anyway.” Any way means any manner or any method. It’s the word “way”, modified by the word “any”. Also, there is no version of the word anyway with an s (anyways is not a word!).
7. Irregardless – Regardless
The Culprit: “We deliver the greatest service irregardless of circumstances”
What you probably meant: regardless
Irregardless is another one of those words that just doesn’t exist. Remember back to your English classes when you talked about double negatives? That’s what irregardless is!
8. Companies – Company’s
The culprit: “Our companies philosophy is…”
What you probably meant: company’s
Companies is the plural form of company. You have many companies in a business park. Company’s is the possessive of company; it implies ownership. Our company’s picnic is on Tuesday.
9. Everyday – Every day
The Culprit: “We check our process everyday”
What you probably meant: every day
Everyday is a one-word adjective used in sentences like “It was an everyday occurence”. When you go for a walk, you do it every day.
10. All Right – Alright
The culprit: “It’s alright to contact us 24/7”
What you probably meant: all right
I’m sure you’ve seen “alright” a lot (not alot). It’s very commonly used, and now even makes an appearance in the dictionary (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alright). It has numerous critics who insist that the original and proper form is “all right”. Why even chance making them irate?
There’s no doubt that the English language is hard. If you don’t write every day (not everyday) you may be a little rusty. Though technology has made spelling and grammar a little easier to master, the technology is not always perfect.
The moral of the story is always have someone proofread!
If you’re interested in well-written and grammatically-correct content, check out our services or contact us today!
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