The English language is not an easy one to master—even when it’s your native tongue. This list of common word usage mistakes proves as much. I’ll be the first to admit a few of these tripped me up. All this time I assumed the phrase “just deserts” was spelled with two s’s! And the difference between e.g. (“for example”) and i.e. (“which is to say”) was something I uncovered in the Chicago Manual of Style only a couple years ago.
If you don’t yet have a trusty spelling and grammar resource, you may want to consider investing in one. Back in my journalism school days, The Canadian Press Caps and Spelling was our go-to guide (because it was used by most Canadian journalism publications). That said, Grammarly often does the job these days (and it also offers this list of 10 best grammar resources for professionals). And, of course, good ol’ Google can serve you well in a pinch too.
While stellar spelling and grammar are vital components of your organization’s written communications, a consistent writing style goes a long way as well. If you don’t yet have an organizational style guide—or if you have an old one that’s collecting dust—taking the time to revamp it is well worth the effort. Not only does it ensure everyone is on the same page regarding how bullets, headlines and capitalization are approached, but it can also be used to ensure a consistent tone on social media as well.
What aspects of the English language consistently trip you up? Please dish—we’d love to hear!