A credibility lesson from Yogi Berra

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in Workplace Communication

When Yogi Berra says, “He hits from both sides of the plate; he’s amphibious,” it’s funny. When you use the wrong word in your communication, it can cripple your credibility.

Here are four common wording errors to avoid:

1. Common error: “I’m not adverse to …”

Correct: Use “averse,” which means having an active feeling of repugnance or distaste. Or just say “against.”

2. Common error: “My thought process is …”

Correct: “My thought is …,” unless you mean how you came up with the thought.

3. Common error: “It will impact our bottom line.”

Correct: Use “affect,” instead of “impact,” which is a noun, not a verb.

4. Common error: Using “very unique.”

Correct: Use “unique.” “Unique” means it’s one of a kind; there are no degrees of one-of-a-kind-ness.

--Adapted from 100 Words Almost Everyone Confuses & Misuses, editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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