Tag Archives: Business English

STOP!! Before You Press “Send,” Did You Use the Right Word?

08-10-2015 Word Cloud Graphic--FinalHow many times have you taken a quick glimpse at your message, and pressed the Send button only to discover later that a word in your message had been used incorrectly? The word you typed may have looked similar to the one you intended to use, and you know that the pronunciation of the two words is similar, but the meanings for the two words are very different.

Proofreading for thought content is very important, and the helpful list of words below along with their meanings should be added in to your writing tool kit.

Do – [meaning: to perform] – Example: When do you plan to make your decision?

Due – [meaning: to owe] – Example: The loan is due on July 1, 2017.

Dew – [meaning: moisture] – Example: The morning dew is heaviest in the summertime.

Elusive – [meaning: baffling; hard to catch] – Example: The reason for the disappearance of Flight 370 is still elusive.

Illusive – [meaning: misleading; unreal] – Example: Based on his previous performance, John’s hopes of getting promoted proved to be illusive.

Allusive – [meaning: hinting at] – Example: The mayor’s speech contained an allusive reference to city workers getting a pay raise next year.

Everyday – [meaning: ordinary] – Example: Cecil quickly learned the everyday tasks of his job.

Every day – [meaning: each day] – Example: John’s boss called the office every day to check on the progress of the Denton Project.

Farther – [meaning: at a greater distance; refers to actual distance] – Example: Mariah’s house is actually 5 miles farther from us.

Further – [meaning: to a greater extent; moreover, refers to figurative distance] – Example: If we want to reach a compromise, we need to discuss this issue further.

For – [meaning: use as a preposition] – Example: The message is for Bill.

Fore – [meaning: first; preceding; can be used in combination] – Example: The nurse gave Susie the injection in her forearm.

Four – [meaning: numeral] – Example: The customer bought four cookies.

Ideal – [meaning: standard of perfection] – Example: Gus is the ideal candidate for this position.

Idle – [meaning: unoccupied; not in use; without worth] – Example: The accident on the freeway caused many other drivers to sit idle in traffic.

Idol – [meaning: object of worship] – Example: B. B. King was a legendary idol to many blues fans.

Idyll – [meaning: a description of rural life; idealized, pastoral way of life] – Example: Marjorie was thrilled that Bakersfield was exactly the rural idyll she had imagined.

Its – [meaning: the possessive case of the pronoun it] – Example: The dog wagged its tail.

It’s – [meaning: the contraction for the words “it is” or “it has”] – Example: It’s been a grueling week because the deadlines were changed. It’s okay for the class to work in teams on the next assignment.

Lay – (v) [meaning: to place {hint: if you can use the word place, then use a form of this word}] Example: – Please lay your jacket on Jackie’s bed.

Lie – (n) a falsehood; (v) to recline; to tell an untruth – Example: Gregory told a lie to the arresting officer. The doctor told Patricia to lie down for at least an hour after taking the medication. You should not lie under oath.

Lye – (n) [meaning: a strong alkaline solution] – Example: Many years ago some consumer products contained lye.

Maybe – (adv.) [meaning “perhaps”] Example: If we don’t get to meet as a group today, maybe we can meet next Monday.

May be [meaning: (v)] Example: Although the numerical data in the report is correct, Sally may be revising the summary text information in the report.

To – [meaning: (prep.) (v) [Use “to” when you need to express “action or movement toward something or someone.” When used in this manner (with a noun or a pronoun), the word “to” functions as a preposition (a connector) and is part of a prepositional phrase = to + noun/pronoun] Example: John is moving to Chicago. [meaning: This form of “to” is also used with verbs to express action or state of being—to see, to write, to be, to have, etc. When used in this manner, it is part of an infinitive phrase = to + verb] Example: Jane will have to make other plans.

Too – (adv.) [meaning “in addition” or “also” or “more than enough”] Example: She, too, mentioned Mr. Smith’s recent performance.

Two – (n) (adj.) [meaning Use “two” when you need to express the figure “2” as a word.] Example: Sally brought two of her friends to the concert. Kristin two tickets to the dinner.

Win – (v) [meaning “to get something, by prize or contest” “to achieve a victory”] (n) an act of achieving victory in a contest or a game. Example: I am confident that our team will win the championship this year! Today’s court decision is a big win for our candidate!

When – (adv.) [meaning “at which time” “during which time”] Example: When did Jennifer join the group?

Source: The Gregg Reference Manual, 11th Edition, William A. Sabin, McGraw-Hill, 2011.

If you want to update your writing skills, consider enrolling in the Business Office Systems & Support program at Richland College. You will have a wide selection of courses (offered online and face-to-face) from which to choose. These courses range from basic keyboarding, computer literacy, business communications, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access (includes preparation for the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam**), office procedures, etc. These courses can all lead you towards a college-credit certificate or a 2-year associate’s degree.

Richland College is located in northeast Dallas at 12800 Abrams Road. For more information contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu at 972-238-6215.

**Richland College is an authorized Microsoft Testing Center.

***Get a Free Copy of Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2013***If you are a student in the Dallas County Community College District, you are eligible to download a FREE version of Microsoft Office 2013 Pro Plus (or 2011 on the Mac) which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote.

 

 


Tips For Proofreading Your Own Work

10-27-2014 final 489003095

“Yes, its happened to my before, has is aslo happened to you?”

If anything similar to the above sentence has every happened to you (those “gotcha” typos), then take a “working tip” from Richland College’s POFT 1301 Business English and POFT 2312 Business Correspondence & Communication courses on how to improve your proofreading and editing skills…

We all have certainly experienced those moments when you discovered that the document you just sent and thought was error free is not so error free! You proofed the file at least a couple of times, and yet you still missed some errors—what causes this to happen?

Well, according to one UK expert, University of Sheffield psychologist Tom Stafford, when we compose information and then proofread this information, we are working on two very different levels.

  1. Our brains consider the creation or composition of information as a high-level task.

The brain is busy focusing on wording that will effectively convey the specific thought at hand. At that point, the brain does not consider the small details such as spelling, word usage, or thought content as the most pressing matter.

  1. While extremely important to the effective transmission of communication, tasks such as correct word usage, spelling, grammar, punctuation, document formatting, etc., are viewed as generalizations or secondary by the brain.

According to Stafford, we sometimes tend to put ourselves on “auto pilot” when performing these second-level tasks.

So how can we become more effective proofreaders? Click the link to Leah McClellan’s guest blog on Write to Done to see the full list of helpful steps that are definitely worth practicing. These 10 steps and their explanations can help to ensure that your online and hardcopy documents live up to professional expectations:

  1. Wait until you’re completely finished with the actual writing and editing.
  2. Don’t get distracted—minimize your interruptions.
  3. Analyze your work sentence by sentence. Consider reading the material aloud.
  4. Proofread several times for different types of errors, spelling, word usage, thought content, etc.
  5. Don’t lose your focus. If you notice a format issue while checking spelling, or if you need to look something up, make a quick written note (or insert a typed comment) to come back to this item later.
  6. If you do make a last-minute change to a few words, be sure to check the entire sentence or even the complete paragraph over again.
  7. Verify facts, dates, quotes, tables, references, text boxes, and anything repetitive or outside of the main text separately.
  8. Stay focused and remain objective. If you find yourself drifting off and thinking about something else, go back over that section again.
  9. Get to know yourself and the types of mistakes you typically make. How many of us have made a mistake by incorrectly using sight, site, cite or they’re, their, there?
  10. Check format last, and make sure your formatting is internally consistent, e.g., the same level subheadings are formatted identically, indentations, centering, bold, spacing, etc. Business letters, e-mails, or memos should follow a standard business formatting style.

BTW–Can anyone spot the five mistakes in the first sentence of this blog?

If you want to improve your writing and editing skills, consider taking POFT 1301 Business English and/or POFT 2312 Business Correspondence & Communication in the BOSS program at Richland College. Richland College is located in northeast Dallas at 12800 Abrams Road, and both online and on-campus courses are offered. For more information contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215.

BOSS Blog Sources:

http://www.businessinsider.com/why-you-cant-spot-your-own-typos-2014-8

http://www.wired.com/2014/08/wuwt-typos/

http://writetodone.com/get-your-eagle-eye-on-10-tips-for-proofreading-your-own-work/

 ***Get a Free Copy of Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2013***If you are a student in the Dallas County Community College District, you are eligible to download a free version of Microsoft Office 2013 Pro Plus (or 2011 on the Mac) which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote.

Free Package


Don’t Get Hit By The Old “3-To, Too, Two” Punch!

Avoid the old “3-to, too, two punch” by knowing when to use the correct form of “to,” “too,” and “two.”

Use “to” when you need to express “action or movement toward something or someone.”

Example: John is moving to Chicago.

When used in this manner (with a noun or a pronoun), the word “to” functions as a preposition (a connector) and is part of a prepositional phrase = to + noun/pronoun

This form of “to”  is also used with verbs to express action or state of being—to see, to write, to be, to have, etc. When used in this manner, it is part of an infinitive phrase = to + verb

Example: Jane will have to make other plans.

Use “too” when you need to express the concept of “in addition” or “also” or “more than enough”

Example:  She, too, mentioned Mr. Smith’s recent performance.

Use “two” when you need to express the figure “2” as a word.

Example: Sally brought two of her friends to the concert.

For more information, contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, bjones@dcccd.edu 972-238-6215