Good Stuff

Tips, tricks and techniques that help you explore and enjoy your communication awareness.

Quote of the Day

Grasp the subject, the words will follow.
-Cato the Elder
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Dear Jane

Dear Jane,

I don’t bother with some of the grammar or spelling rules that no-one cares about.  If I write your or you’re, or to or too, or their or there, or let’s or lets, or it’s or its – who cares?  People know what I mean, right?  My supervisor said I need to take a class but I don’t think anyone cares about rules any more, do you?

Thanks,

Happy to be Wrong

Want to be a professional

Dear Happy,

Unfortunately, the people who read what you write are counting on the rules of grammar and spelling to guide them as to your meaning.  If they have to pause and decipher what you’ve written, they might lose interest and stop reading.  Also, if they think you disregard written rules they may wonder what other rules you disregard.  You probably don’t want either of these things to happen.  Ignoring rules of language may not be the place where you want to stake your independence.

Good luck,

Jane

Tip of the Day

Using I and me.

Confusion arises when others enter the picture. Most of us have no problem here:

I am going to finish the document.

Send the proofs to me.


But, for many, the inclusion of other people brings trouble.

Figaro and (I? me?) are going to finish the document.

Send the proofs to Figaro and (I? me?).


Good news! There is no change in the use of I or me.

Figaro and I are going to finish the document.

Send the proofs to Figaro and me.


When describing action that includes others, just remove those others for a minute in your mind and proceed as you would if they weren’t there.

My team and ( _____) are in the running for first place. (I!)

They’ll have to give the prize to Ansel and (____) if we win. (me!)


Would that all grammar issues were so simple…

Spotlight

Spotlight: Something as small as an apostrophe can cause changes in meaning.  Knowing a few rules will help avoid trouble.

Apostrophe-

  • Use the apostrophe to show possession: Hector’s meeting.

Use it even if the noun ends in ‘s’:  Doris’s turn.

And even if the noun is plural:  The children’s playground.

And even if the noun is plural AND ends in ‘s’:  the Smiths’ house.

  • We also use the apostrophe in contractions:

They have= they’ve; you are= you’re; can not=can’t.

Here are places where we do NOT use an apostrophe:

  • Six dogs
  • Your homework
  • Lots of fun

You can do this.  Call us at 202-298-7700 for help.