Write what you mean

If you know me in “real life” you know that I am constantly amazed and disappointed by the poor grasp of the English language that many college graduates have (mostly it’s the recent graduates but not always).

However I’ve seen some questionable phrases used by some of the most professional people that I’ve met.

The top two:

Take for granite

You don’t take anything for “granite” unless you’re discussing counter tops or quarries. Taking things for granted however is an appropriate sentiment to express.

Worth ethic

Although people with a good work ethic are worthwhile to have around, it’s definitely work that they’re doing.

The Honorable Mentions:


It’s a 3rd grade thing, “a lot” is most assuredly two words and spell check does catch it. Want to know what an “Alot” is? Read this interesting post to find out (Thanks to Kim form TextingMyPancreas for sharing it with me!).

Bare with me

No, no, no! Don’t you dare “bare with me” keep your clothes on. Homophones are tough, I get it. But say, bear with me please. Whether you mean a real bear or to carry the burden of your thought process, it’s better than asking someone to strip with you.

Speaking of homophones, maybe go back and review to, too, two, you’re, your, they’re, there, their and the whole lot of them. You sound much more professional when you use the correct homophones.


Sometime s the way we talk screws up the way we write. The words excel and accelerate aren’t interchangeable. The gas pedal in your car is an “accelerator” and to speed up is to “accelerate.” To do something well means that you “excel.”

There will be a test

Ok, not really but you are judged by your use of words. No one expects you to be perfect, but it is pretty important to try using words correctly. You seem overall more professional, credible and intelligent when you use and spell words correctly (I’m a big spelling and grammar checkers as well as proof reading).

Now that I’ve written this, I have to be extremely conscious of my writing.

(I had no one specific in mind when writing this post, so please don’t assume that I’m pointing fingers.)

Related Posts:

 I’m not a “miss”

I should have minored in…

Back to school…or not

About Probably Rachel

PR professional and social media enthusiast, blogging about life, marriage, coffee and type 1 diabetes. You can follow me on Twitter also @ProbablyRachel

Posted on December 8, 2011, in Student and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Love it!! i know sometimes when i am writing i do slip and make mistakes. however, i am blogging and it is sort of like my personal journal, but with public access. it is not being published professionally, and i am not getting paid to write it. it seriously makes me angry when i am reading something, like for instance, the newspaper, and i find things like you mentioned. do they have professional proofreaders or do they just use spell check?

    • Typos happen unfortunately, but it’s crazy that the way people talk seeps into their writing so much they don’t even notice mistakes anymore!

      I didn’t even think to mention newspapers! My college journalism professor gave extra credit for turning in newspaper articles that we had used proofreading marks to correct. The local papers were riddled with errors! The larger newspapers had fewer mistakes, but they were still there!

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