The Written Word

Don’t underestimate the power of the written word.

People are constantly reading.  There are street signs, emails, Twitter® notifications, Facebook® messages, bills, subtitles… you get the picture.  There are different styles of writing, too.  For example, an email to your best friend, a text message, and a news article will vary considerably in style.  The punctuation in your email is used to convey descriptive expressions and feelings and may not necessarily follow the written rules for proper writing.  The text message may or may not contain whole words, symbols, and emoticonsJ; in text messages, grammar and spelling generally go out the window.  Now, when it comes to published works, such as articles or a thesis for your Master’s degree, getting the correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation tend to be more important.  Some extra proofreading for that resume can’t hurt either.  After all, first impressions are everything (okay, almost everything). 

I suppose I should have started this post with a disclaimer that I am not in any way, shape, or form an expert in grammar and punctuation as far as American English is concerned.  This is, however, the focus of this post.  I’ve learned American English by being immersed in it since I was born.  That just means that I understand how to speak and be understood and how to write and allow the reader to understand the meaning of what is written. 

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it can be confusing to read misused words.  Those are the sentences (or sentence fragments) that take three times to read and you still aren’t sure you understood.  Words and their counterparts that are most often misused or misspelled include:

  • your ↔ you’re
  • accept ↔ except
  • there ↔ their
  • are ↔ our
  • hear ↔ here
  • its ↔ it’s

If you’re unsure about grammar, spelling, etc., in something you’ve written, one of the best ways to check is simply to ask someone else to read it.   Even for the best writers, a second set of eyes can almost always catch a mistake you missed, if only because you’ve been reading and rereading and quite honestly your eyes and brain are tired of it.  Using the spell check function on your word processor can be helpful, too.  But use caution; word processors can’t read your mind and are apt to suggest changes that can be far from correct.

Ultimately, you want to make sure that your written words are understood as intended and that your words reflect well on you and your writing ability.  A well-written cover letter and resume may get you the job interview for your dream job.  If you’re pursuing a career in journalism or a related field, correct spelling may be what keeps the electricity on.  So do yourself a favor and read that paragraph twice and hit spell check before submitting.  You will thank yourself for it later.

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About invisiblebusinesssolutions

Gina Cozza is a talented administrative professional with a love for learning. These talents along with her desire to help people succeed are the reasons she created Invisible Business Solutions. With over 20 years experience in the engineering industry, serving both government and small business sectors, Gina has proven her success time and again. In 1989, Gina started working for the US Bureau of Mines as an intern. She worked her way through high school and college gaining many different skills along the way. In 1993, she transitioned to the small business sector working for a geologist. While working in a small office, she learned many different aspects of the business including accounting and field work. When the business closed in 1998, Gina began working for another small engineering firm in Spokane, WA. Gina quickly worked her way up from office assistant to office manager within the small engineering firm. During her 12 years as office manager, Gina took on many responsibilities within the organization including but not limited to client relations, document review, collections, accounts receivable, accounts payable, environmental field work, as well as many other administrative tasks. Gina learned quickly that working for small business requires you to “wear many different hats.” She found that she loved the diversity of the job. In 2009, Gina opened Invisible Business Solutions. The primary focus of Invisible Business Solutions is assisting businesses with their administrative needs. This includes a variety of services, such as document review, transcription, collections, or contact management. Gina has extensive experience with all aspects of Microsoft Office Suite, dealing with many administrative areas any small business may have. Gina realizes that technology is advancing daily and businesses need to keep up with social media in order to prosper. She tries to educate herself in order to understand this ever evolving technology in order to help her clients stay on top of the social media market.
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