Communicate for Success—English Tips, Vol. 2

Communicate for Success word cloud taken from Consistent Voice Communication's web home page and created with tagxedo.comA good command of the English language is essential for success. Rightly or wrongly, people judge you on how well you communicate. Here are five more tips for using the English language well. You may also wish to review Vol. 1.

Well, that’s good—Everyone “feels good,” unless they have arthritis or the nerve endings in their fingers are dead. If you are without illness or pain, however, you “feel well.”

Less is fewer than more—Both “less” and “fewer” are opposites of more. If the items can be enumerated, use “fewer.” “I have fewer than 10 crayons on my desk.” On the other hand, if you can’t count the amount on one or twenty hands because the amount is indefinite, use “less.” “I have less clutter on my desk since I removed the crayons.”

Since vs. because—The words “since” and “because” are not synonyms and are not interchangeable. “Since” denotes time. “Because” denotes causal effect. “It’s been 10 days since I saw you.” “I won’t be able to see you for 10 days because I’m avoiding you.”

“I” before “e” except after “c”—The thousands of exceptions to this rule make it useless. When in doubt, look it up. That’s why God created dictionaries.

I would accept it, except ….—“Except” excludes. “Accept” includes. “I would accept you into my life, except for the fact that you can’t spell.”

More to come. Be sure to follow my blog so you don’t miss any.


Tom Pfeifer is the managing partner and chief strategist for Consistent Voice Communications. Reach him at Tom@YourConsistentVoice.com.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks for prompting me to finally reset my wordpress password. I tried to post a comment that you probably meant causal instead of casual on because vs. since. 🙂

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  2. That’s why you’re on the list, John. You keep me honest. 🙂

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  3. […] « Communicate for Success—English Tips, Vol. 2 […]

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