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Communication Breakdown – or, grammatical errors that drive me nuts

Posted by on Mar 24, 2011 in best practices, BLOG, grammar | One Comment

There are very few things that kill me more than reading a perfect resume from a likely candidate, then seeing her follow up letter that says “with regards to my application…”

Sigh. When did we learn to ignore basics like this? The correct usage of the phrase has so many permutations: With Regard To. In Regard To. Regarding. Why do people disregard these and favor “regards?” The only time you give your “regards” is when you say goodbye.

Similarly: we put the pedal to the metal. Not the petal to the medal. We wait until worse comes to worst. Worst coming to worst is called redundancy. Or maybe, “equally bad.” Either way, that first worst and second worst don’t ever really meet. Unless it’s in liverwurst. Which really is the worst.

We can compliment things that complement each other, but we can’t complement someone with a compliment. We can walk the walk and talk the talk, but “walking the talk” is just an idiotic way to say that someone is a man of his word. And just because I didn’t say s/he was a wo/man of his/her word, does not mean I don’t like women. It just means I’m too smart to be PC at the expense of good copy.

Sometimes there are blessings in disguise – say, a car accident that stopped me from going to a place that just got bombed. But unless that bomb exploded a bank and money started raining from it, there are no blessings in the sky.

If I ask you to confirm that you are attending my party, you can send me an RSVP. Or you can just hit reply to my email and say “yes.” Please don’t send me an email that says “noted.” Because all that says is that you “noted” that I asked if you were coming. Are you coming or not? Forget it, you’re not invited anymore. (BTW. “You’re” not invited. “Your” dog, however, is still invited. Get it?)

You can be the best (place noun here) of all time, but not of all times (Dana White, I’m talking to you). You can also be a sight for sore eyes. You really DON’T want to be a site for sore eyes. That would be gross.

I can wander around Times Square and wonder at its majesty. I can even wonder about what it would feel like to wander. I cannot, however, be Wander Woman.

So… with regard to communication: words matter. Letters too. In this world of txting and LFMAO stupidity on daily display, coming off like an intelligent and professional person is in the details. These kinds of things aren’t caught on spell check. But they ARE easy to remember and apply. As my favorite grammar guru Yoda would say, “There is no try. Only do!”

1 Comment

  1. Eddy
    March 25, 2011

    I couldn't help but notice you're worse grammar! We must practice these things regularly or risk loosing our basic righting and talking skills set.