Six Most Common Language Mistakes

What’s wrong with the following sentence?

“As far as profits, if we would have kept the factory where it’s at, there is three things we could have done in terms of productivity for the managers that have to run it…”

If you said those exact words in a boardroom setting you’d be sending a signal that you’d probably never had a proper education and weren’t to be taken seriously.

The perception that you’re not up to expectations could cost you business and money and short-circuit your career.

This is how I’d suggest you say the same thing to improve your success rate, regardless of your objective:

“As far as profits are concerned, if we had kept the factory where it is, we could have done three things to boost productivity for the managers who run it…”


Six Guidelines To Avoid Common Language Mistakes

Here’s what we need to do to fix the sentence:

  1. “AS FAR AS…” can’t stand alone. You need to make it, “ As far as profits ARE CONCERNED…”
  2. Never say, “If I would have…” or “If we would have…” Instead, say “HAD I…” or “HAD WE…”
  3. Never use a singular verb form as in “…There IS…” to refer to a plural noun, as in, “…There IS three things.” It’s got to be, “There ARE three things…”
  4. “THAT” is for things. “WHO” is for people. So our sentence should read not, “…managers THAT run it…” but, “managers WHO run it…”
  5. “In terms of…” is almost always unnecessary. So instead of saying, “…In terms of productivity for the managers…” say, “…to boost management productivity…”
  6. Never say, “Where he is AT…” or “I don’t know where I’m AT…” or “Where it’s at…” That’s because AT can never follow WHERE. “Where he is…,” “I don’t know where I am…” and “Where it is…” are the way to go.

Follow these simple guidelines faithfully and you’ll never have to worry about whether people will get the wrong impression. You’ll come across consistently as the educated and articulate person you know yourself to be.

NEXT: How to beat the fear of public speaking