Grammar is for elementary school kids, isn’t it? How about word comprehension? How about slang? That’s important for college students who are writing papers but not the rest of us…..or is it? There are a lot of frequently confused words out there that project messages to others when they are misused. Check a great article in the September issue of Reader’s Digest, which (or that??) discusses frequently confused words such as… do you know when to use the words ”less” or “fewer”? The article made me wonder how often I might use other similar words that do NOT mean the same thing (yikes!). When you are sitting in an interview, what impression do you think you will make on an employer if you use a word that does not mean what you think it means ….and they do know what it means (do you know what I mean?!). One confused pair that I often heard in my recruiting days was “remuneration” vs “renumeration” (the second one is not even a word!). I also heard local slang like “yous” as in “yous guys” as in “what salary range are yous guys looking at offering?”…..ahhhh! What impression do you want to make on the interviewer?
How can you improve your word comprehension and keep up with formal English vs slang? Here are a few ideas – sign up for one of the word-a-day dictionaries that go straight to your email, such as via www.dictionary.com and be sure to really read it- try to use the word several times that day; as you read books and journals, get out the dictionary to look up words and be more confident about their meanings; play word games such as Scrabble, Bananagrams, and crossword puzzles to challenge and build your vocabulary comprehension.
So regardless (or is it “irregardless”?!) of what you thought before, perhaps these thoughts will give “yous guys” pause to consider whether good grammar is important in your job search?