Avoid the Most Common Word Problems

Your writing skills are a reflection of your professionalism. The way in which you express yourself through the written word sends a message to others about your organization, communication, and logical thinking skills. One way in which to enhance your credibility and persuasiveness is to ensure that you use the correct words in your correspondence. The following sets of words are among the most commonly misused in business writing:  

  1. Accept/Except: Accept is to receive something; except refers to exclusion.
  2. Affect/Effect: Affect is to influence someone or something; effect is the consequence.
  3. Assure/Ensure: Assure is to give confidence; ensure is to give a guarantee.
  4. Complementary/Complimentary: Complementary refers to items that go together; complimentary is to give a compliment or something for free.
  5. Defuse/Diffuse: Defuse is to make less dangerous; diffuse is to spread or scatter.
  6. E.g./i.e.: E.g. means for example; i.e. means in other words.
  7. Principal/Principle: Principal is the highest in rank; principle is a rule.
  8. Their/There/They’re: Their is the possessive of they, meaning belonging to someone; there means in that place; they’re is the contraction of they are.

Focus on avoiding the most common word problems in your writing this week. 

Please visit www.ShaunHopkinsSeminars.com to learn how we can help you implement this week’s Best Practice in your organization. 


1 Comment

  1. Jim Crighton

    That helps. I’ve misunderstood all of those for 53 years now. I’m gonna print this out and scotch tape it to my wall. Thanks Shaun!


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