Raise your hand if, even though you are a professional communicator, you’ve recently made a language mistake. (Bonus points if you admit you should have known better than to let the error slip through.)
We all make mistakes—no one is perfect. And when you’re on deadline or under pressure, it’s even easier to break the most basic rules of usage, spelling, syntax, etc.
That’s why it’s important to refresh your memory on linguistic fundamentals.
Take a look at this infographic from the University of Phoenix. It lists 10 basic tips that even the most senior communicators could stand to review. You can never keep your skills too sharp.
Here are some of the tips:
His or her/their: Use “his” or “her” to refer to a single person. Only use “their” to refer to a group.
Wrong: The speaker referred to their notes before the speech.
Right: The speaker referred to her notes before the speech.
Who/that: Use “who” to refer to a specific person. Use “that” to refer to a nonhuman object.
Wrong: The man that commented on our page just sent me an email.
Right: The man who commented on our page just sent me an email.
Farther/further: Use “farther” to describe a physical distance, and “further” to describe a degree of extension.
My new office is farther from the train station, but closer to the coffee shop.
I want to further my research before I turn in the report.
Check out the full graphic for more: