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6 grammar mistakes

Last updated on February 13, 2023

I realize that as an editor I am paid to catch errors in client work, but there are some fundamental issues in many clients’ writing that need to be addressed. While I can review and

edit that corporate brochure or web copy, there are countless other documents and emails that contain errors that make me cringe.

I’m hoping that this post will help prevent someone from sending something that gives the appearance of carelessness or worse, ignorance. Please don’t take offense. I’m only trying to help.

  • “Discrete” and “discreet” are not the same word and do not mean the same thing.
  • Please learn the difference between “you’re” (a contraction meaning “you are”) and “your” (as in “belonging to you”).
  • The same holds true with “there” and “their.” Your elementary school English teacher is cringing.
  • Not everything that your product does is “impactful” (as in “the impactful and innovative Widget 5200”). It even appears in fairly mainstream media (see Sporting News, “Maurer’s return more impactful than A-Rod’s“). It’s an awkward, buzzword-bingo sort of word in its own right, but when used repeatedly it loses its impact altogether. Ironic, isn’t it?
  • “Bucketize”. Please see definition here. I had to resort to the urban dictionary because it doesn’t appear in the OED. Why? Because it’s not actually a word. Say “categorize” or “classify,” but please, avoid the B-word.
  • There is no such thing as a “sneak peak” of your product, unless you’re about to reveal a very tricky mountaintop. It’s a “sneak peek.”

Anyone have other mistakes that are particularly frustrating?

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