Correct habitual errors

By Kendall Martin

It’s not uncommon to get stuck in the pattern of making the same writing errors over and over again. In some cases we have been making the same mistake for so long that we are unaware of the offense. Perhaps we were never corrected for the errors during our school years. I’ve certainly seen some of them go by without any correction in the workplace. But that doesn’t mean you should give up on writing grammatically sound emails, blog posts and proposals.

Correct these common mistakes now:

  • Different than vs. different from. You may catch yourself saying “This image is different than the original.” What you should say is “This image is different from the original.” Why? When we compare objects, we move them away from one another. We use the word than when comparing the degrees of an object’s similarity or difference. Examples: further than, faster than, slower than.
     
  • I.e. vs. e.g. This one is pretty simple once you know what the abbreviations stand for. The Latin phrase id est means “that is,” and exempli gratia means “for example.” You would use i.e. in a sentence when making something clearer and e.g. when providing examples.
     
  • Of vs. have. I see people make this mistake because they write out what they hear when they say “should’ve.” They write “I should of gone to the meeting.” No, you should have gone to the meeting. The same goes for “could’ve” and “would’ve.”

What habitual errors have you made in your past?

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One response to “Correct habitual errors

  1. Pingback: Common Confusion: i.e. & e.g. | Better Writing in Business

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