Call me old fashioned, but little makes me cringe more than reading misspelled words in a blog, social media post, and most especially a résumé or LinkedIn profile!

A single error can mean the difference between you getting an interview or being passed over. We’re talking credibility here! Don’t put yours on the line.

Are you writing for a Canadian, British, or US audience? Be aware; many words are spelled differently depending on geography. For example, organise, recognise, and realise are correct in Britain, but in Canada and the US, these words end in -ize – organize, recognize, and realize.

And what about accents in the word résumé? While a must in Canadian literature, it’s perfectly acceptable to use the bare and naked version, i.e., resume, for other English variations. Using the accents - and yes, the correct way is using two accents, one on each of the “e’s” - makes clear which word you’re using because in certain contexts, it could be confused with the word resume, as in, “I’m going to resume writing this blog after I eat an ice cream cone.”

Do you use spell-checking software? Yes? That’s good; however, be aware that it isn’t the magic pill. It will catch typos and misspellings but rarely considers context.

Don’t get caught on contractions. When misused, those pesky devils, like you’re (you are), we’re (we are), it’s (it is), stand out like a rainbow in the Sahara Desert, and can completely change the meaning of a sentence.

Did you catch the italicized words I used throughout this blog? Hint: Your spidey senses should tingle whenever you come face-to-face with them. And here are 20 more:

1 Accessible

2 Acceptable

3 Accommodate

4 Behaviour – British & Canadian; Behavior – US

5 Counsellor - Canadian; Counselor - US

6 Definitely

7 Eligible

8 Inquire

9 Its / It’s

10 Judgment – Widely used English variant; Judgement – British

11 Liaison

12 Occurrence

13 Passed / Past

14 Pastime

15 Questionnaire

16 Recommend

17 Separate

18 They’re / There / Their

19 Were / We’re

20 Your / You’re

Before posting any professional document, or anything on the Internet for all to see, do the following. Chances are, you’ll never get caught with your literary pants down again.

✅ Read it out loud.

✅ Run it through spell-checking software (www.grammarly.com is my favorite).

✅ Reread it tomorrow.

✅ Have someone else read it.

#writertips #grammar

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