Using the right word in written communication is essential for any company desiring to project a professional image. Improper use of the English language can easily be interpreted as a lack of knowledge or poor attention to detail. Unfortunately this misuse of words is becoming more prevalent every day.
Elizabeth Morrison is so bothered by the decline in grammar she has compiled “The Right Word”. Her work shows words commonly interchanged for another word in what is an essential desktop reference for any professional seeking to set themselves apart from others.
Spell check in Microsoft Word misses words that are incorrectly spelled when the spelling is another word. Type “cat” instead or “cart” and Word will not notice. Likewise if you “affect” instead of “effect” Word may only ask you to check the word but will not give you tips as to what is the proper word to use.
Morrison says she began working in The Right Word, “when I was teaching communication students at Charles Sturt University. Many of students were from non-English speaking backgrounds and it soon became apparent they experienced difficulties with English words that sounded the same but were spelled differently and had different meanings.”
The misuse of words is rampant in marketing and store signage. A drive-through sign instructed patrons to order at the kiosk “than” pay at the second window. An ad for sweet rolls told potential customers to locate the product in the dairy “isle”.
It is not just for the written word that Morrison seeks to educate us about, oral mispronunciation is also an area in which use of this book can assist in the professionalism of the speaker. She does not address mispronunciation rather concentrating on the use of the wrong word. (For the word most often pronounced incorrectly, click here.)
“I must admit that I am guilty of correcting verbal word misuse,” says Morrison, “particularly if I encounter it within my own family!”
The book is available in print or can be downloaded from Amazon.com for use on electronic devises.
Additional Cultural Resources
- Culture Bridges are a look at the contents of the character within each of us. Information is contained on more than 20 different categories of culture.
- Cultural Faux Pas is an interesting quiz about marketing mistakes made by others.
- Culture Quizzes allow you to test your cultural IQ with fun and informative quizzes.
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