Fewer than vs. Less than
That vs. Which
More Than vs. Over
Home In vs. Hone In
Captioned above are just a few common words and phrases that tend to get misused. I’ve done it, you’ve done it. That kid who got straight As in school has likely done it as well.
I’m really not going all grammar guru on you, because in the grand scheme of things, using dessert (Last night’s apple pie) when you should have used desert (Sahara) ain’t that big of a deal.
That is unless, of course, your livelihood depends – in part – on using proper and something close to correct language.
Such was the case not to long ago (See, I just did it – I used the wrong to) when I received a blind sales pitch from an advertising firm. Advertising – ironically – a form of communication that generally relies on proper language and grammar.
It was your standard features and benefits sales pitch – a claim here, a reference client name drop there, with a metric or two tossed in for good measure. Nothing I haven’t penned myself (And I know two or three of you within the sound of my digital voice have as well).
Then I came to the ‘ask’…the “…if you think we can help you…” money shot:
I’m not sure if your (company) could benefit from our publishing channel or weather we could make it work for your business. But if you think it could be an interesting solution for your organization, we could organize some time to quickly find out if it could work for your (company).
Did you catch it?
weather we could make it work for your business.
Did this little slip up effect (See, I did it again) this sales professional’s chances with me? Not really. I was already turned off by the poor targeting (Fancy Marketing term) that led to my receiving a sales pitch that should have gone to someone else in our organization.
I was more amused than put off by this linguistic faux pas. It could happen to any of us – really it could – using weather (the stuff outside) when you meant whether (a toss-up between two alternatives).
Which is why proofreading is such a useful tool.
Unfortunately, it’s a tool that sometimes goes unused in our hurry up and get it out the door so I can make my number society.
I only hope the next thyme this sales professional rights a pitch, they revue it to insure their are no embarrassing misuse of any words.
Well, I best rap this up so I can take my dog out for a walk before the son goes down and the whether turns bad.