We all have accepted the fact that our work constitutes a major part of our lives. So much so that more than fifty percent of our time is taken by our work. Don’t worry.This isn’t going to be a lecture or philosophy -whichever you prefer- about work-life balance. Well, that is very much clear from the heading, I suppose. What we are talking about today is the mistakes we make while writing anything work-related. But there are two things to deal with in this regard too. Being a little careless about it or being too good that most people don’t even understand it. Confused? I am talking about the language that we use while we write anything for work.
Don’t you feel that not every job requires the same level of skill in this area? Though it might be true but today, we have inexplicable number of resources available, both online and offline. So, punctuation errors -though they should not- reflect poorly on your work. I agree completely with the fact that a software developer is supposed to know and be correct about Java, C, and .Net etc. languages properly and a writer is supposed to be well versed in English, but the truth is what it is. Plus, it doesn’t really hurt much to be careful about the little things we are going to learn about today.
We are going to learn do’s and don’ts of both the categories we talked about just now.
- Innocent mistakes: These are the teeny tiny mistakes that we all make or have already made at least once in our lives -also could be while we were learning as kidsJ. Just kidding. But, they are really common, since we either have been doing it doing it wrong forever or we don’t really realize we do it. One example of what I do is that sometimes, I forget to add periods (.) whenever a sentence ends. LOL!!! This isn’t one of the common ones but jokes apart, let’s get to the mistakes we do normally make. Don’t worry about me. My proof reading and grammar check helps me with allJ.
- Grammatical errors: I hope we all understand the difference between ‘its’ and ‘it’s’. These are the kind of mistakes we generally make, grammatically. Some of them similar to these are listed below:
- Affect/ Effect
- Except/ Accept
- There/ Their
- A lot/ a lot
And there are many like these. And you can have a look at them here.
- Tone of your writing: The thing is sometimes we forget that we are not emailing the project report to our friend. Okay, we don’t but writing a work mail informally is not the way to go. Look for capitalization of words where it is required. ‘i will see u tomorrow. Can’t wait’ is okay with your friends but ‘i m attaching the project report. Have fun’ is not okay with your boss. And even if your boss is friendly with you, you have to CC a lot of other seniors -some of them even bosses t your boss- and you will lose your image there. Also, you SHOULD NOT use all uppercase lettered words in your work mails because this is considered as yelling.
- Use politically correct language: This is the mistake even I tend to make sometimes. You should not use only the male pronouns in any situation where the person is unknown and could either be male or female. This is considered sexist -because probably it is- and if your boss is female, you might get into trouble. Use either female pronouns or you can alternate. The best solution is to use them together like ‘he or she’ or ‘his or her’.
- Slang language: As I just told you, using informal ergo slang language can be considered unprofessional. So, avoid doing that.
- Overdo Mistakes:These mistakes are the ones that are not really wrong but might prove to be disastrous. Few examples are:
- Don’t use jargon: What this basically means that when you start using technical language too much without much explanation, things can go really wrong. Since not every one of your bosses is technical, if he or she doesn’t understand what you are trying to say, it reflects poorly on you.
- Avoid clichés: We tend to write in a very clichéd manner most of the times. If that is the case, sometimes that either gets irritating or doesn’t stand out from the crowd. And this is mostly applicable in case of research work writing or project report writing. So, be careful.
- Use easy words: There are times when we have to calm down our writing prowess, and write in a manner which is understandable to everyone.
And the last which is applicable to both is proof-reading. This is a step that can solve a number of problems. All the mistakes that are discussed above can be easily removed through this. Most of the times, we unknowingly make some mistakes which can be easily be rectified when proof read.
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