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Words You Don’t Want to Get Wrong at Work

Written by Francesca, Saturday, October 3rd, 2015 in Culture, School and Work

drink-864958_1280Words are powerful. They can lead to wars or positive social changes. They reveal who we are and how we think. So it shouldn’t be hard to believe that the words you use in certain situations can affect the course of your life, especially when it comes to professional settings. Get these words right and you might just beat out your competitors in the workplace or seal a deal with a client.


Commonly Misused Words

Using these words incorrectly can cause others to misjudge your intelligence.


Infamous: This word actually refers to a bad reputation, not worldwide fame (likewise, notorious means famous for something bad). Simply use famous, renowned, or acclaimed.


Irregardless: Yes, it’s a word by definition. No, you shouldn’t use it. The correct form is regardless.


Nauseous: If your patients are nauseous, they are the cause of the nausea. If they feel like throwing up, they’re nauseated.


Commonly Confused Words

Mixing up these words in writing can completely change the meaning of what you’re trying to communicate.


Discreet: unnoticeable or prudently silent

Discrete: separate or distinct; often used in math and science


Ensure: to make something sure, certain, or safe

Insure: to buy or provide insurance; insure can also have the same meaning of ensure, but not the vice versa


Principal: (adjective) the most important thing; (noun) financial term for money that can earn interest

Principle: a moral belief, basic truth, or law of nature


Commonly Mispronounced/Misspelled Words

Could/Should/Would Have: The confusion comes from the pronunciation of the contractions (could’ve), which leads to people spelling the complete form wrong by using of (could of) instead of have.

Perseverance: When writing up your resume, remember to leave out the r most people add before the v. You’ll be killing two birds with one stone by revealing that you’re both persevering and smart.

Realtor: The mistake people make here is adding another syllable in the middle so it sounds like “real-a-tor.” You should know how to correctly say the name of your own occupation!


Part of being well cultured is being well spoken. You’ll sound professional and educated in person and on paper. Remember how to use, say, and spell these words correctly and it can take you farther than you think.

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