On the very wise advice of my mentor, I am not going to worry too much about saying anything profound…I’m just going to say what’s on my mind. So, here goes. I’m a closet English teacher.

I am on quite a few lists…I get about 100 emails most days. There are lots of promotions, ezines, articles and other communications; some very simple…just text embedded in the email; some very professional looking…beautifully laid out, lots of colour, fancy graphics and fonts. So, what is driving me nuts, you ask. I hate to see the english language used improperly. In fact, it really puts me off. Rightly or wrongly, it affects how I view the sender. All of a sudden, the communication does not appear as professional. The sender loses credibility. I know I must sound like a terrible snob, and that’s not it at all. I just have an overwhelming urge to fix it before anyone else sees it:-). I feel badly for the sender.

Sometimes it is a typo, pure and simple. In a casual communication, I don’t think this is a big deal. Spell check programs probably weed most of these out, anyway. The problems occur when the wrong word is used, but it’s still a word so it isn’t flagged. The other common mistakes are changing tense or going from singular to plural form in the middle of a sentence.

Over the next while, I’m going to try to address some of the most common mistakes I see. These are not in any kind of order, just the ones that are top of mind for me on a given day. I will try to make the distinctions practical, rather than theoretical. Who cares if it’s a noun, verb or preposition:-)

Let’s take the word “there” or “their” or “they’re”. “They’re” is a contraction for “they are”. “Their” indicates possession (their shoes). “There” either indicates a place (over there) or the existence of some entity (there is, there are). It isn’t that it’s difficult. It just really takes diligent proofreading, checking that the context is right for the spelling used. It is so very important when it comes to that critical first impression.

OK, I guess that’s enough ranting for one day. Stay tuned…I’ll be back with more:-).

Love and Light, Namaste…Debbie