Correct word usage? Does it matter?

Do you cringe when you hear an incorrect use of affect? Does the redundancy in continue on make you blanche? Does proper word usage haunt you?  I guarantee “Where is he at?” will stop professional writers dead in their tracks.

A favorite of mine is a person’s response on the phone: “this is her.” I dropped a bowl of vegetables at a family gathering when I heard a niece say this. Correct word usage is one of my passions.

These are conversational word usage errors. What happens when word usage errors are embeded in our written word? Does this affect us?

Most people mistakenly believe the informal nature of much of today’s written communication lessens the importance of correct word usage. Do not kid yourself. Writing must be simple and clear.

It is probably more important now than it was ten years ago. Why? We are actually communicating most of the time through written word (e-mails, twitter, text messages, Facebook). You may think it is only an email, what does it matter?

Not only can word usage errors distort the message, the flow of the language is interrupted. Usage is choosing the right word or phrase. Choosing the incorrect one reflects poorly on the writer.

Beginning writers cringe as big red lines are penned through extraneous words in submitted copy. They find it difficult to grasp simple is better in writing. I gathered a list of words notorious for not adding anything to a sentence.  Do the extra words add anything  to the basic message in the bold faced paragraph : thank you for the nice job?

Irregardless* and importantly, it can be meaningful and certainly enthuse, sort of, most people in a nice way. So, the truth is, as yet, certainly and importantly, we must finalize each and every one of you for the nice job. Thank you in advance.

If a word does not add substance to a sentence, get rid of it.

I think we just lost our paragraph.

I can see Mrs Donaldson (my English teacher in 12th grade standing at the chalk board (if you do not know what a chalk board is, find someone who knows who Ringo Starr is- she will know). Mrs D is teaching us the correct usage of compare to and compare with.

compare to: point out or imply resemblances of objects that belong to different order  Charleston, SC can be compared to New York City, NY

compare with: point out or imply resemblances of objects that belong to the same order Charleston, SC often is compared with Savannah, GA

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