Recently, we talked about three things that could make you look like an idiot online. One of those things was committing egregious grammar errors, especially if you have a business or are expected to present in a professional manner. We went over a handful of the most common juvenile mistakes online, but lo and behold, we’ve hit the mother lode.
The fine folks at Copyblogger have cranked out this handy infographic so you can review more common mistakes. Have a look over jewels like these:
Literally – Do you say “I am literally burning up” when you are not on fire? “Literally” is not used to add weight to something. It means, “No, really. I’m burning!”
I’m going to interject another here that is not even found on this infographic.
Exponentially – This is so overused and misused that you probably think it doesn’t matter anymore. Only in cases of low numbers do most figures ever hit right on this. And, even if the writer/speaker accidentally gets it right, it shouldn’t be used unless they know why it’s right. You commonly hear that a company has “grown exponentially”. Or, “The cost of gasoline has risen exponentially.” If gas was $3 a gallon, the first “exponential” growth of that price would be to square it, thus $9 a gallon. Not likely, unless we’re talking Brazil. The next step would be $27 a gallon, then $81 a gallon.
Words mean things. Words like “exponentially” and “literally” only make you look smarter to people who don’t know better. Aim higher. Here’s help.