Good grammar and proper phrasing are important to projecting a professional image in the workplace. Grammarly’s Kimberly Joki reviews five of the most common incorrectly used words and phrases.
• “Intensive purposes.” People use this phrase when they are trying to convey for every functional purpose, or for every practical sense. Intents and purposes is what you should be saying in this situation.
• “Ying-yang.” This Chinese symbol that represents opposing forces is actually called a “yin yang.”
• “I could care less.” When you say this instead of “I couldn’t care less,” you are saying that you do care at least a little. Try replacing the word care with another verb to test your sentence before you say it. For example, if you couldn’t eat less, it means that you couldn’t eat a smaller amount than you are already eating.
• “Towards.” If you’re in the United Kingdom, it’s considered correct to say “towards.” In the United States, “toward” is the correct usage.
• “Passerbys.” In English, people often try to add an s to a compound word and call it a plural noun. In this instance, the word “by” is not a noun, so you can’t add an s and make it work as a plural. To make the word “passerby” plural, you add the s to the word “passer” making it “passersby.” This also applies to other compound words and phrases, such as “sisters-in-law,” “runners-up” or “chiefs of staff.”
— Adapted from “5 of the Most Common Grammar Mistakes and How to Avoid Them,” Kimberly Joki, Grammarly.