Kathie York, CSQE
Chief Wordsmith and
Permalink to this post: https://kathieyork.com/qw1-companies-and-groups-are-not-people/
[Here’s the audio, if you’d like to listen.]
What’s all this ‘QW’ stuff in the headline?!
Let me tell you the story.
I recently looked back through some notes from editing projects, where I discovered a pattern of easy-to-fix ‘word puzzlers gone wild.’ 😉
The puzzlers not only cost my clients more $$ for me to fix, these folks were probably voicing the faux pas with clients or potential clients.
To help us all stamp out the recurring issues I found during my sleuthing, here’s the first entry in this new series of posts.
You’ll receive one of these short (~200-300 words, depending on the number of examples provided), Quick Wins each month. The current plan is to have them head your way on the 3rd Wednesday unnnntil I run out of ideas – ha!
You may find a business tip here and there, but I’ll focus on word puzzlers.
The titles begin with [QW] and a number, so they’re easy to find, keep in numerical order, and squirrel away for a future look.
Most are puzzlers IIII have to stop and think about, so don’t feel bad!
Promise: no 10th-grade-English lecture
You’ve had enough of that ‘rules stuff,’ right? I’ll provide quick ways to remember the proper words in a situation.
“Why, Kathie? No one cares. They won’t even notice.”
The people we want to reach in business (or at a day job) will care. And they will notice when someone takes the effort to speak correctly.
Corner office, Independence Day barbeque pit, coffee shop, company party. Gammarians are e-v-e-r-ywhere!
Let’s show them we’re professional, and we pay attention to details.
Okay, here we go.
Except for a short introduction each month (much shorter than this one!), here is the approximate length of each fast, Quick Win post.
[QW1] Companies and groups are not people!
This one is tough because we’ve heard it phrased incorrectly for years:
Such and Such Company announced their plans for
moving their building using huge, honkin’ Mylar balloons.
First: this is impossible. But hey, we’re having a little fun, here.
Second: companies are not people.
Companies are entities and are referred to as ‘it,’ not ‘they.’
Here is the corrected sentence:
Such and Such Company announced its plans for
moving its building using huge, honkin’ Mylar balloons.
Here’s an example for groups of people. Groups are entities, too:
The team celebrated its win by buying 20 pizzas!
If we phrased this differently and discussed the members of the team,
we would use ‘their.’ Now we’re talking about individuals, not individuals clumped together as a (group) single entity.
The team members celebrated their win by buying 20 pizzas!
The difference is the addition of the word ‘members.’
That’s it! I hope you enjoyed our first foray into Quick Wins.
Make sure you’re subscribed to my posts so you won’t miss these or my business and writing tips.
I promise: NO inbox stuffing or sharing your information.
Feel free to leave a comment, especially if you need help with a puzzler word or phrase.
You’re also welcome to email me, and no, I won’t invoice you!