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Grammar Repair Shop: Beware these misuses and abuses

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in Career Management,Salary Negotiating

Elevate your business writing by ridding it of these common misuses and abuses:

1. Ill-placed question marks

Avoid the temptation to add a question mark to sentences that merely sound like questions. Examples:

“Guess what I did yesterday at work.”

“I wonder who will speak at this year’s conference.”

2. Cool-sounding buzzwords

Keep jargon and buzzwords from creeping into your lexicon. Most of those trendy phrases don’t mean a thing, and some can actually discredit your writing.

For example, consider descriptors such as “revolutionary” and “game-changing.”

American colonists’ behavior in 1776 was revolutionary. And a home run in a tied baseball game could be game-changing. Your new service or process probably isn’t.

3. Clichés

Avoid both the oral and written varieties. Replace the phrases with something unique and memorable.

Clichés from the workplace that we love to hate: at the end of the day, going forward, low-hanging fruit, reinvent the wheel and (of course) think outside the box.

Tip: Develop your writing by infusing your vocabulary with new words. Writing book Spunk & Bite recommends signing up for A.Word.A.Day on But simply reading a well-written book is another surefire tactic.

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