You Choose: An Apostrophe Or a Job?

Could an apostrophe stand between you and your next job?

You bet!

Just like your initial appearance and small talk can make or break a first impression, so can the smallest of typos or spelling errors.

“I stop reading when I find spelling mistakes.” Spelling mistakes were a top complaint of every hiring manager in one survey of more than 600 hiring managers.

In another survey, more than a fifth of executives said a single typo on a resume or cover letter could cost a potential employee a job, while 28 percent said two mistakes would kill their chances.

If emails and Facebook status updates are any indication, one of the biggest challenges in spelling is the misuse of homophones (words that sound alike, but have different meanings or spellings, such as “your” and “you’re”).

Last night, I asked my Facebook friends to help me take a stand against the insidious problem of homophone abuse. I posted a grammar challenge (OK, for you purists, I probably should have written “spelling challenge”) on my Facebook status.

“Grammar challenge–correctly use these words in a single sentence: Your, you’re, to, too, two, there, their and they’re.”

In the comment section, I added, “for an extra challenge, throw in ‘its’ and ‘it’s.'”

Below are some of my creative friends’ sentences:

Angie B:  You’re on your way home to get two cakes and ice cream too. They’re going to taste great because their filling is made of lemon.

Sarah S:  THEY’RE going TO hand out YOUR TWO invitations for THEIR party over THERE, so I’m confirming that YOU’RE going TOO.

Rob R:  You’re going to two of their parties and your sister will be there too while they’re gone!

Peggy J:  You’re too crazy but your friends are there for you always. Two people believe it is their mission to be your friend. They’re good people too.

Mindy M:  THEY’RE are TWO TOO many reasons TO explain why IT’S crazy to challenge YOUR friends (TO) this especially when THERE is a great probability that THEIR sentences will have (TO) be compound or run-ons which are also grammatically frowned upon and I highly doubt YOU’RE going (TO) be happy with that although ITS intrigue-factor means (THEY’LL) give it try anyway and THAT’S got (TO) put a smile on (YOUR) face.

Chris K:  You’re too kind to give your best two lectures there for their cause; they’re so grateful.

Jim T:  You’re too old if your two ears are too bothered because they’re listening to their radio stations at level 22 over there!

Sean W:  It’s gotten THAT bad?!

Yes, Sean, it’s gotten that bad!

Pay attention to the small stuff if you want big results. Don’t let an errant apostrophe or a misspelled homophone stand in the way of your future.


About Diane Windingland
I speak for organizations that want their people to have better, more profitable conversations.

2 Responses to You Choose: An Apostrophe Or a Job?

  1. Kelli Friese says:

    Love your article. This is so true in the world of typing, texting, etc…. Great job!

  2. Laura says:

    There is no doubt your friends are clever with their words and they’re funny, too; you’re probably too proud of one or two of them and it’s easy to see why.

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