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The Write Stuff
September 2018 Volume 14 Issue 9

Going Back to Basics

Since school is back in session, this is a great time to cover some writing basics often messed up in business communications. While a bad grade isn’t in the offing, your reputation can suffer when you make these “childish” mistakes.

Using apostrophes to form plural words
Wrong: The Cubs are in the midst of playing 30 day’s straight.
Right: The Cubs are in the midst of playing 30 days straight.

Misusing loose and lose
Wrong: When your team is vying for a playoff spot, you don’t want it to loose.
Right: When your team is vying for a playoff spot, you don’t want it to lose.

Misusing your and you’re
Wrong: Your probably excited if you’re football team won its first game.
Right: You’re probably excited if your football team won its first game.

Misusing its and it’s
(See the examples above; its always denotes possession, while it’s is always short for it is.)

Misusing there, their and they’re
Wrong: Their are many San Diegans who don’t watch football since there team left; their doing other things on Sundays.
Right: There are many San Diegans who don’t watch football since their team left; they’re doing other things on Sundays.

To ensure silly errors don’t detract from your message, have your writing efforts reviewed by someone who can catch them — and save you from embarrassment.

A Great Debut
It was my honor to edit Stan Fairchild’s first novel, Community of Marta, which is now available at Amazon.com. I don’t always love the books I edit, but I can wholeheartedly endorse this great read. Set in San Diego, it revolves around Marta, an independent spirit, and her ragtag group of friends. The tale is a heartfelt and timely look at human connection — and shows us how our friends often become our true family.

It Bugs Me When…
People don’t have a signature panel on their business emails that includes a phone number
My name is spelled wrong, first or last — and sometimes both
I’m added to groups on social media instead of being invited to join
My emails and/or phone calls aren’t returned in a timely fashion

Do any of these things irritate you? Do you have other pet peeves with respect to business or personal communication? Feel free to share!

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