by Tony Pearl
We have a very serious problem these days…
The problem is that most people just flat-out SUCK at communicating, especially by the written word. Doesn’t matter who they’re communicating with – a co-worker, their boss, their clients or prospects, their kids, or even their spouses or significant others.
Spelling, grammar, and even how people write a simple sentence often leaves a LOT to be desired. And you know what bad communication leads to? PROBLEMS! Misunderstandings, lost sales, hurt feelings, lowered status, family discord, fights, and much more.
Although many problems come from a lack of communication (which will have to be the subject of another article), today we’re going to focus on a few things to improve several common errors that are used in writing.
Here’s a quick and fun challenge for you: Go on Your favorite social media site/app, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc., and just read what people post and comment on there. Is it easy to read and effortless to understand? Do things make sense? Are you able to pick up what they put down? And how is their spelling?
Listen, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If you don’t spell correctly or communicate in a way that people can understand, you’re going to have a hard time being understood. Your status is lowered and people are going to perceive you as stupid or something, especially if you frequently spell things incorrectly.
If you can’t get your thoughts and ideas across clearly and concisely, you’re going to confuse the crap out of people. And do you know what a confused mind says? NO! As in, “NO! I’m not going to accept your offer or buy your product, because I’m confused!”
But fear not… I’m here to help! Now I’d like to share with you:
My Personal List of Common Mistakes That Most People Make When They Write
Round 1: Loose vs. Lose
A knot can be too loose. You can lose something, like a game, your sanity, or your virginity.
Example: “I don’t want to lose the opportunity to impress her because my tie is too loose.”
Round 2: Dinner vs. Diner
Dinner is what you eat. A diner is where you eat it.
Example: “Let’s go grab dinner at Silver Diner.”
Round 3: Their vs. There vs. They’re (My favorite)
There is a place or direction. Their indicates possession of something. They’re is a contraction of the words “They are.” Please don’t mix these up!
Example: “They’re crazy if they think their house is over there.”
Round 4: Your vs. You’re (Another favorite)
Your is used when you want to show something belongs to you.
You’re is a contraction of “You are.”
Like the previous round, you don’t want to mix these up.
Example: “You’re very smart because of your grammar usage!”
Round 5: Alot vs. A Lot or Allot
A lot means many. Allot means “to divide or distribute by share or portion.” Alot isn’t even a word.
Example: “A lot of smart people know that they’ll stay healthy if they allot part of their day to exercise.”
Round 6: It’s vs. Its
It’s is either a contraction of “It is,” or “it has.”
Its is the possessive form of IT.
Example: “It’s about time that house had its own driveway.”
Round 7: Use of the Apostrophe (‘)
Let’s get this straight. An apostrophe (that little ‘ mark) is most commonly used when you are joining words together (a contraction) or are indicating possession of something.
An example of a contraction is when you take the words “they are” and put them together to make “they’re.”
An example of an apostrophe used to indicate possession is “The video’s features are compelling.”
One of the most common errors that people make when using the apostrophe is when they try to use it as a plural, like this: “Those are great video’s” (That is wrong!)
The correct way to write that would be without the apostrophe, for example: “Those are great videos.”
Round 8: Let’s vs. Lets
Let’s is a contraction (there’s that word again!) of let and us.
Lets means “to allow or permit.”
Example: “Let’s see how much dad lets us get away with!”
Round 9: Pacific vs. Specific
Pacific is the name of an Ocean. Specific means precise or exact.
Example: “Let me be Specific. I went snorkeling in the Pacific Ocean.”
Round 10: Special Tip To Reduce or Eliminate Confusion
A lot (see? 2 words!) of confusion happens when people write too much. They go on and on without separating or stating their ideas properly, being clear with what they say, or even making a point.
With that in mind, here’s a GREAT tip for you:
Before you start writing, ask yourself this question:
“How can I say what I want to say in the fewest words possible and still get my point across in a way that my reader can understand clearly?”
Keep that in mind when you write, and you’ll be golden!
If you’ve read up to this point, you should hopefully be feeling smarter and better already. Now let me reward you with a few reasons WHY this stuff is so important in our business, as well as a few instances when it will serve you well…
Whether you’re (you’re = you are) writing contracts, making offers, or just communicating with a prospect, these simple spelling tips will serve you very well, AND go a LONG way to giving you credibility with your communication. Mess these simple things up, and the prospects with whom you intend to do business (sellers, buyers, private lenders, etc.) may subconsciously think that if you don’t take care of these simple details, you might not take care of other important things, either. That might just cost you the deal, which would lose you money. And we can’t have that!
So learn and practice these simple spelling and writing tips if you don’t already know them, and you’ll show people how smart you really are… And maybe save (or do) a few deals in the process! 😉
Until Next Time,
Copyright 2018 Tony Pearl | All Rights Reserved