Everyone wants to sound as professional as possible when communicating in a business setting. Working on clear, understandable speech is important, but it is only one piece of the puzzle. Often people include inaccuracies in their speech that they are completely unaware of. This week, we discuss some common errors many people make in their speech and how to correct them:
“The news was so shocking, my jaw was literally in my lap.”
The word literally refers to the reality of an event. Unless the speaker’s jaw was actually touching his knees, this is an inaccurate use of the word literally. The speaker actually means that it occurred figuratively, meaning he is using the phrase as a metaphor to exaggerate or emphasize the point. For proper usage, simply omit ‘literally’ and keep the sentence as it is. The metaphor will speak for itself.
“He continued to work irregardless of his exhaustion.”
Irregardless is not a word. It is an erroneous combination of two separate words: regardless and irrespective, which both mean “in spite of”. Any usage of this word is wrong. Period.
“I like to peruse the paper for a few minutes as I drink my coffee each morning.”
People often use peruse to mean to glance over something or to read or review it quickly and superficially. However, the word actually means the near opposite of that: to read with thoroughness or care.
Check in with us again next week when we provide more tips on how to avoid common vocabulary and grammar errors in everyday speech.
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