Communication Made Easy — Speaking, Editing, Writing, Marketing, Networking Answers

A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but words themselves are at the basis of all communication. Whether we are communicating for business or personal reasons, our spoken and written words matter. These posts will address issues and answer questions related primarily to business communications, as they affect writing, credibility, marketing, and networking.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Word Aware

Here are a few interesting word observations I've made over the last few days...

Is it "a broad" or "abroad"?

My interaction with Debbie Norwitz, new member of ABWA's Scottsdale Express Network and a travel agent specializing in volunteer vacations, had the whole room chuckling at our recent luncheon. A volunteer vacation offers you the opportunity to take a trip that combines service — teaching English, building homes, constructing sewer systems, working with AIDS orphans, etc. with a traditional vacation. As president of Scottsdale Express, I had just opened the floor for members to make announcements about upcoming events they wanted to promote. Debbie stood and announced that she would be hosting an evening for anyone who was interested in learning how to volunteer abroad. Even though I'm familiar with her business, when she said it out loud, I heard, "anyone who is interested in learning how to volunteer a broad." So I asked, pointing to myself, "Volunteer a broad, like a chick?" The room erupted, as she corrected, "No, like volunteering...overseas." I see.

Sometimes our diction can help these situations. Sometimes it's simply about paying more attention, as the listener.

Drummer needed.

Was sitting in a cool, trendy coffeehouse in central Phoenix the other night, waiting for someone who never showed up. Had the opportunity to notice a fellow patron, though, who was wearing a shirt that said DRUMMER NEEDED. My immediate thought was, "What a cool way to advertise."

However, I'm not sure it would work for all situations. I mean, I don't know many gals who would be very taken with a guy who wore a shirt that said GIRLFRIEND NEEDED, and I'm willing to bet homeless people wouldn't get a lot of offers if they wore shirts that said, FOOD AND/OR JOB NEEDED. But for this guy's needs, the advertising venue seemed perfect...depending, of course, on where he hangs out and wears the shirt.

I wonder how many inquiries he gets, and how long it takes him to find his perfect drummer...if, indeed, this is his only method of advertising.

Spelling, anyone?

Since it is impossible to write in a vacuum, it’s incumbent upon us to be conscientious about avoiding noticeable misspellings as we publicly issue relevant commentary. While I believe it is perhaps occasionally acceptable, and more likely unavoidable, to insert the odd occurrence of a weird spelling or grammar faux pas, I prefer my readers to be privileged to appreciate my commitment to humorous, indispensable, intelligent writing that supersedes that which can be acquired in the average library.

The link below contains a list of the 100 most commonly misspelled words. Peruse it at your leisure, understanding there is no judgment here of bad spellers (see There's No Shame in Being a Bad Speller/Poor Grammarian), but simply the recommendation that you immediately precede hitting “send” by using your SpellCheck function, as there generally is no excuse for embarrassing goofs which can accidentally make one appear to lack intelligence.

Your Dictionary - 100 Most Common Misspellings

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