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How bad grammar can cost you.

Ten or Fewer

While growing up in rural Georgia just east of Athens, I adored my mother who served as a senior class teacher of English Grammar.  I was barely a teenager when she would routinely bring home her grammar quizzes to challenge my acumen at a much higher academic level than I had earned.  I might add; I became quite proficient in her art form scoring higher than most in her classes.

Many lessons were learned, but none more valuable than the proper use of the various parts of speech.  What follows are a few samples of the murderous, disrespectful spin many place on these words of considerable value:

Bad

Good

Less employees enrolled than we thought. Fewer employees enrolled than we thought.
Me and him attended the enrollment meeting together. He and I attended the enrollment meeting together.
Myself and Jim are responsible for the door prizes. Jim and I are responsible for the door prizes.
Please loan me your pen. Please lend me your pen.
It’s all about me taking this application into my own hands. It’s all about my taking this application into my own hands.
This benefit is for Bob and I. This benefit is for Bob and me.
I intended this explanation of benefits for whoever came to the meeting. I intended this explanation of benefits for whomever came to the meeting.
Whose that signing up? Who’s that signing up for benefits?
The decision about the deductible will be made between the three of us. The decision about the deductible will be made among the three of us.
He told me that his benefit consultant complimented us. He told me his benefit consultant complimented us.
(The word “that” can be eliminated entirely from most sentences.)
That’s the benefit issue we are dealing with. That’s the benefit issue with which we are dealing.
Lovely Life is the place where we started from/at. Lovely Life is the place from whence we started.
It’s all about you doing all the talking in the presentation. It’s all about your doing all the talking in the presentation.
You showing up was important to all who attended. Your showing up was important to all who attended.
Who would you refer us to? To whom would you refer us?
If it was up to me, the company would pay the entire premium. If it were up to me, the company would pay the entire premium.
Use this form if you have less than ten questions. Use this form if you have fewer than ten questions.
We will get the assignment. We will secure the assignment.
He is a member of the plans I belong to. He is a member of the plans to which I belong.
I will get the document he is referring to. I will secure the document to which he is referring.
This an unique approach to self-funding. This is a unique approach to self-funding.
There was only 6 employees in the 3rd session. There were only six employees in the third session.

 

The attractiveness of correct grammar cannot be overstated.  And remember, if you cannot win an argument, correct their grammar instead.

 

Carey Brown
Principal

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