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Words, words, words: October ’15

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in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

Write it right

Staff is or staff are?

When the staff is seen as a single unit, it’s a collective noun and should take a singular verb: The staff is efficient.

But the English language is never that easy.

Sometimes you can think of the staff as a number of independently acting individuals. In such a case, it would be staff are, as in The staff are giving each other a hard time on this project.


Say it right

Dreamed or dreamt?

Either one is correct, but dreamed is more common in American English, while dreamt is favored in British English. Dreamt does, however, sound more pleasing to the ear (I dreamt I won the lottery), but looks a little strange in writing. Fun fact: Dreamt is the only word in the English language that ends in “mt.”


Spell it right

Kindergarten vs. kindergarden

In speech, the “t” in kindergarten (a German word meaning “children’s garden”) is often pronounced as a “d”, and thus, the word is commonly misspelled. And the little tykes who go there? They’re kindergartners, not kindergarteners.


Wise words

“Speak when you are angry—and you will make the best speech you’ll ever regret.” — Laurence J. Peter

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