Wednesday, November 14, 2012

4 Times You Absolutely Must Correct Grammar at Work

Nobody wants to be labeled as a snob or know it all at the office, but if you’re constantly going around with a red pen checking everyone’s work for grammatical errors and misspellings (and no, it’s not in your job description), then that’s exactly what will happen. People don’t like receiving criticism about their grammar and spelling, and if you’re making a habit of telling everyone in the office why they’re wrong, you’re not going to make many friends.Most people tend to keep their mouths shut when they notice a misspelling or grammatical error. They don’t feel as if it’s their place to correct someone on this aspect of their job. But there are a few times where you need to just bite the bullet and call out the error.

1. If you’re considered an author.

If you were partnered with a coworker to complete a project and you notice that the sections your coworker wrote have a few grammatical or spelling errors, you’ll want to call them out and correct it. This assignment was a team effort, which means that your boss (or your clients) will be looking at the document as a team and not as individual sections. You and your coworker will be judged together for your work, so if you are handing in a project or document that has your name on it, you’ll want to make the appropriate corrections.

2. If it’s something your clients will see.

If you are sending a document or presentation to a client, you’ll want to make sure that it is spelled correctly and uses the right grammar. If you notice any type of mistake in the document, you’ll want to let someone know. If you send a document with mistakes to clients, they’ll think that your business is unprofessional. They’ll believe that if you don’t take the time to proofread your own work, you won’t care about their needs either. Sending a perfect document to a client shows an impressive level of professionalism as well as a great sense of quality. This goes over well with your clients.

3. If it can damage your company’s reputation.

A major grammatical error or misspelling can have very damaging effects on your company’s reputation. For example, having a major misspelling on marketing collateral in a very public place will earn you some PR, but not the kind you want. Your current and potential customers will see this mistake and associate it with your brand. They will then think that your company is not responsible enough to create an error free campaign, so what does that say about the products and services that you’re producing?
In transcription services, typists need to produce high quality interview transcripts. A grammatical error while typing can change the intended meaning of the paragraph. 

4. If it’s affected production.

If spelling or grammatical errors on work documents are starting to hinder production, then you’ll need to bring them to the author’s attention. For example, if a coworker is constantly sending emails that are hard to decipher due to poor grammar, so then everyone has to take time out of their day to figure out what is being said, that’s hindering production. A lot of time and money can be saved if this individual will know the mistakes that he or she is making.
Letting someone know about a spelling or grammatical mistake does not make you a grammar stickler. It just shows that you care enough about your own reputation and the reputation of your business to stop the issue before it gets any worse. Plus, if you’re only bringing attention to those mistakes that can be damaging in the long run, your coworkers will not think of you as a stickler—they’ll think of you as a hero.

About the Author:

Julie Myers is a grammar fanatic and avid writer.  She is very precise when it comes to grammar and is always willing to help fellow employees with proofreading skills.  Read more about the importance of grammar in the workplace here.

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