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Tip: Take your words from error to excellence!

Tip of the Week
04/29/13

Tip: Take your words from error to excellence!

All of us say things from time to time that are inaccurate.  I don’t think we deliberately try to sound ignorant or to miscommunicate.  However, sometimes we do it without realizing what we have done.  Even though no one may notice when we make a “gaff,” it is important that we correct our errors and speak with more excellence and clarity when we know to do so. The news media beat up President Bush every time he made a verbal mistake. But after all he wasn’t a “rocket surgeon!”

See if you are aware of the following few examples I am about to give and have already made the necessary corrections.

“Irregardless” – I often hear people say, “Irregardless of what anyone else thinks, I think…”  When I hear that, I am amused because there is no such word as “irregardless.”  The correct word is “regardless.”  It would be more accurate to say, “Regardless of what anyone else thinks, I think…”

“I could care less!” – Actually, the correct way to say that is, “I could not care less!”  If you say, “I could care less,” then go ahead and care less, because there is still room for you to care less.  But, if you couldn’t care less, then there is nothing left to care about because you have used up all of your caring!

“Was” or “were” – Sometimes people say, “If I was you, I would…”  The correct way to say it is, “If I were you, I would…”

When I was growing up in the ‘60’s, a song came out called Bobby’s Girl, by Marcie Blaine.  There is a line in the lyrics that says, “If I was Bobby’s girl, if I was Bobby’s girl, what a grateful, thankful girl I’d be!”  I can still remember lip-syncing that song for my Aunt Myrl one day when she was visiting our home.  I was so happy to be putting on such a good show for her.  After the song ended, Aunt Myrl said to me, “Robert, actually it should be, “If I were Bobby’s girl…”  I can still remember thinking that she had missed the whole point of my entertainment program!  Yet, nevertheless, she was right.  To be correct, it should be, “If I were Bobby’s girl.”

Now, I know you are probably reading this and thinking, “Who in the world cares?”  And, that is the point of this Tip.  Excellence cares!  Excellence may take a little more effort, but that is better than speaking erroneously.

Oh, and here is one more example.  Have you ever heard someone say, “You just made a grammatical error?”  Even that sentence has an error in it!  According to the Rules of Grammar, if something is grammatical, then it is automatically correct.  Therefore, there is actually no such thing as a grammatical error.  It would be more accurate to say, “That was grammatically incorrect.”  (That is just another tidbit from my Aunt Myrl, who was an English teacher.)  Now I realize rules of grammar change from time to time – depending upon the culture – and what was once unacceptable has now become acceptable. “Ain’t that the truth?!”  But, that still doesn’t make it right.

So, as you think about all of this deep information that I have just shared with you, please don’t get bogged down in analyzing every word that comes out of your mouth in the future.  However, if you know that you can say something better and in a clearer manner, why not do so?  All of us need to do the best we can in every area of our life and certainly that includes the words we choose to say. “Life and death are in the power of your words” (Proverbs 18:23).

I hope some of these thoughts will help you in the future.  Even if you only take one step up the ladder of life, you are still higher and better off than you were a few minutes ago.  Wouldn’t you agree?

Tip: Take your words from error to excellence!

Have a great week!  God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm

Robert Rohm

Top selling author and speaker, Robert Rohm Ph.D. is founder of Personality Insights Inc. and The Robert Rohm Co. As you will see, Dr. Rohm specializes in helping people better understand themselves and others.

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