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Business // Thinking Smart
David S. Chang

Correcting Common Writing Errors

Part of thinking smart in life is learning to communicate and write properly. Applying for a job or school, pitching ideas, communicating to customers and coworkers or marketing through social media can be thrown off with minor mistakes. Hiring companies state that spelling or writing mistakes on resumes are one of the top reasons they get thrown out. In a digital age with more emails and social media, people make judgment calls within seconds, and bad grammar can cost you credibility. Many look at grammar to see how professional a person may be, so it is important to double-check your work! Here are some common writing errors:

According to grammarly.com, an automated proofreader site, 39 percent of writing errors are spelling mistakes;10 percent of writing errors are not adding a comma before a conjunction (and, but, for, nor, or, so and yet), resulting in a run-on sentence; 5 percent of writing errors are sentence fragments where a sentence fails to express a complete action or thought; 3 percent of writing errors are grammar mistakes resulting from an omitted verb; 2 percent of writing errors are “wordy” sentences where people are not concise.

Here are common grammar errors that can be fixed easily:

* Their vs. There vs. They’re

Their: Possessive form of they (belonging to a group). “Their performance was great!”

They’re: Short for “they are.” “They’re going to the performance.”

There: It can mean a place “Go over there,” or a point in time, “Stop there in the performance.”

* Your vs. You’re Your: Possessive and belongs to you. “Your performance was great!”

You’re: Short for “you are.” “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Many people say “Your welcome.” However, it should be “You’re welcome.”

* Its vs. It’s Its: Possessive form of it. “The dog wagged its tail.”

It’s: Short for “it is.” “It’s cold today.”

* Lose vs. Loose Lose: Opposite of win. “They will lose the game.”

Loose: Opposite of tight. “The rope is too loose.”

* Site vs. Sight Site: Refers to a location. “He is on the site.”

Sight: Refers to vision. “His sight is better after wearing glasses.”

* Then vs. Than Then: Refers to time. “We’ll see you then.”

Than: Refers to comparison. “You have more than he.”

* Alot vs. A lot Alot is not an actual word! A lot: Refers to more. “He has a lot of experience.” It is more professional, however, to state “He has an ‘ample’ amount of experience” or “He has 10 years of experience.”

* Effect vs. Affect Effect: Refers to a result. “The effect was incredible.”

Affect: Refers to influencing. “He is affecting the company positively.”

Many times you are judged by how well you write and communicate. Writing errors may seem insignificant, but since perception sometimes is reality, it is important to take time to proofread your work!

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