Every office has one. You know? That one person who is constantly correcting everyone’s grammar, whether it’s from a written document or verbal presentation. These people are known as grammar sticklers, and while they think they’re helping, they can be a major nuisance to the office.
In order to keep yourself out of their line of fire (and way clear of their red pen), you’ll want to make sure that you do the following.
Take your time.
Whether you’re writing an email or giving a presentation, make sure that you take your time to draft complete thoughts. When you take your time, you will make fewer errors, and this will keep the grammar stickler off your back.
Learn the basics.
Unless you write for a living, you probably forgot some of the rules you learned in your grammar school English class. You can always freshen up your skills by re-learning the basics. Peruse grammar websites. Take an online quiz. Sign up for a class at your local community college. All of these suggestions can help you improve your grammar and spelling so that the grammar stickler stays at bay.
Use your spell and grammar checker.
Most platforms that allow you to write (word processors, emails, text messages) have a built-in spell checker that can help you locate and fix any misspellings. If your platform does not locate these items automatically, make sure that you run the spell checker software before submitting your work.
You should also invest in a good grammar checker. These programs work like a spell checker, but they focus more on your grammar. Most spell checkers only look for major spelling errors but will look over homophones. A grammar checker will be able to recognize the difference between it’s and its and help you draft the best content.
Along with using spell and grammar checkers, you should also proofread your work on your own. Read it over carefully and change anything that doesn’t make sense. Rework confusing sentences, fix spelling errors and check to make sure that you’re using the same tense and point of view throughout. For better proofreading, you should opt to read your work out loud or backwards. Doing so forces you to slow down, which can help you catch mistakes more easily.
Listen to what the stickler says.
Pay attention to what the stickler is correcting on others’ writing. Then, make sure you don’t make the same mistake. If the stickler sent an email letting everyone know the difference between compliment and complement, make sure you go back to that email to check which version to use. If you overhear them correcting one of your coworkers, take note of what they’re saying. This way, if you learn from the mistakes of others, you’ll be less likely to make mistakes of your own.
Nobody wants to be on the receiving end of a grammar lecture from the office stickler, and if you use these tips, you won’t have to.
Garrett Payne is a business manager and prolific writer. He likes to use proper grammar whenever he’s writing. Click here to learn more about the importance of grammar in the workplace.