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Don’t Make These Common Writing Mistakes in Email

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Rich, these are all good reminders:

People judge you by your writing, so getting a word wrong can make you look bad. Be sure to avoid these common writing errors in your next email:

  • Affect/Effect: Affect is a verb; effect is a noun. It affected him. The effect was startling.
  • All Right/Alright: Although alright is gaining ground, the correct choice is still all right.
  • A Lot: A lot is two words, not one. Allot means “to parcel out.”
  • Between You and I: Nope. Between you and me is the correct phrase.
  • Complement/Compliment: Things that work well together complement each other. Compliments are a form of praise.
  • Farther/Further: Farther is for physical distance; further is for metaphorical distance. How much farther? Our plan can’t go any further.
  • Lay/Lie: Subjects lie down; objects are laid down. He should lie down. Lay the reports there.

And remember: If you’re unsure about a word, just write the sentence another way.

Source: Adapted from “A Quick Guide to Avoiding Common Writing Errors,” by Mignon Fogarty

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