Apr 16th 2018

6 Common Email Mistakes Even Professionals Make

email mistakes

English is the language that most businesses use when communicating with customers. Because of its vast usage, it remains the language of choice, even if it is not the native tongue of the people working in the company.

It is usually easy to spot emails written by people who are not native English speakers, as they unknowingly translate their native language directly to English – here are the six common mistakes people make when writing in English:

1. Revert back:
Revert means to return or roll back a certain action. Therefore, the word ‘back’ is an unnecessary repetition here.
Correct usage of “Revert” in a sentence:
“Please feel free to revert with any further questions”
“Try not to revert to your previous working habits”

2. PFA attached:
PFA is short for “please find attached”. Therefore, “PFA attached” is redundant. Doesn’t make much sense, does it?
Correct usage of “PFA” in a sentence:
“Further to our phone conversation PFA the contract we discussed”
“PFA my resume and cover letter for your consideration”

3. Discuss about:
Discuss, by definition, means to have a dialog about a subject. The word ‘about’ is thus already included in the meaning of the word “discuss” and therefore not needed.
Correct usage of “discuss ” in a sentence:
“We need to sit down and discuss the new business idea “.
“The management team stepped aside to discuss their strategy.”

4. Let’s and lets/ it’s and its:
The difference between it’s and its (the conjunction “it is” vs the possessive form of “it”) is quite common – however, there’s another similar mistake which writers often make between let’s and lets:
Let’s: Stands for ‘let us’.
Correct usage of ” Let’s” in a sentence:
“Let’s plan a date night”
“Let’s cut the meeting short and proceed with the plan”
Lets: is the first person singular form of the verb to let.
Correct usage of ” Lets” in a sentence:
“He lets me use his computer”
“She usually lets me leave early”

5. I and Me:
These two are often confused even by native speakers. The best way to figure this out us by adding yourself to the sentence:
Example: Jack and (I? / Me?) will join the conference.

Once you have written the sample sentence, just delete the part about jack and read the sentence again. “Me will join the conference?” or “I will join the conference?”. Easy, right?
Correct usage of “Me” in a sentence: “me” generally follows a preposition:
“She is younger than me by two years.”
“Can you take the call for me?”
Correct usage of “I” in a sentence:
“I didn’t understand a word you said”
“I totally disapprove of what you did there”

6. Until or By:
“Until”: is a preposition that describes a span of time before a target date.
“By”, in contrast, is a usually used in when referring to a deadline and means “on” or “before”.

Correct usage of “by” in a sentence:
“I need the report done by 5:00 pm”
“Please approve the agenda by December 22nd”
Correct usage of “until ” in a sentence:
“I studied until 7pm last evening”
“The package will not reach here until the end of the week”

Share with us the common mistake you found in the comments below.

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Apr 12th 2018

5 TED Talks That Will Inspire Your Child to Do Homework

Examination stress

Guest post written by Dom Gibson on April 12, 2018 

The famed TED conference produces talks every year that inspire, entertain, amuse, provoke and encourage. There is now such a gigantic TED library that you can find hours of speeches dedicated to a wealth of topics, many tackling current education trends and the established forms of teachings, as well as its challenges.

One challenge that stands the test of time will come as no surprise to parents and teachers – the mission of encouraging consistent completion of homework. Homework is a divisive issue, with some schools in recent years, choosing to abolish it completely. However, not all students are quite so blessed, here are some inspiring TED talks that tackle the concept of homework head on and make a strong case for putting effort into its completion (some links open in YouTube).

1. The Power of a 5th Grade Homework Assignment – Shelly Anne Rosen
A particularly unusual case, but definitely a case study worth considering! While helping her son with a homework assignment in 2005, Shelley learned about a topic which she hadn’t previously engaged with; the Rwandan genocide of 1994. The subject resonated with her when she saw a parallel to the Holocaust, and she was drawn into learning more about the event. Her pursuits took her down a path that has led to meeting and marrying a Rwandan man, opening a tour company with her husband, and becoming a volunteer with Seattle’s Holocaust Centre for Humanity. It seems like an interesting anecdote on the surface, but this story speaks volumes about the important lesson of seeking out knowledge that homework instils. Learning shouldn’t stop at school – the quest for information can drive you to a richer life and a healthy, inquisitive mind! Your passion could just be waiting to be discovered.

2. This Company Pays Students to do Their Homework – Mohamad Jebara
Don’t go into this video expecting the moral to be ‘pay kids to do stuff!’ – not entirely, at least. Mohamad goes into some interesting findings from studies carried out with students of varying ages and talks about interesting concepts such as students’ “attention budgets” in today’s “attention economy”, noting the competing demands on children’s concentration such as Facebook, gaming consoles and apps. According to further findings, it is far more effective to reward input, such as greater levels of effort, than it is to reward output such as higher test scores. Additionally, younger students can be persuaded with a trophy, but for older students, cash was the way forward.

3. Why We Procrastinate – Vik Nithy
A scientific yet simplified look into the reasons why sometimes, we just can’t muster up the energy to try, and our distractions end up winning. Vik Nithy, himself founded three companies by the age of 20, despite a diagnosis of ADHD impacting his ability to concentrate.

4. How to Triple Your Memory – Richard Lieuw On
This is a particularly useful talk for students who struggle with retention of information, and as such don’t see a point doing homework. Richard shows you a simple but deep trick that can be improvised for any topic and can even help flex those creative muscles as you commit more to memory than standard repetition can often achieve. For those who feel like trying to memorize information is pointless, should watch this video and try to play along with the exercises. You may find the results surprising and perhaps your student might be more eager to try a new trick or two that will help them to improve their memory performance.

5. What Do Top Students Do Differently? – Douglas Barton
This talk addresses the truth behind the students who preform best when it comes to marks and grades. It breaks down and dispels the myth that the top students are ‘just better’, and that they aren’t equipped with a superior IQ that catapults them ahead of their peers. To become better student, as Douglas explains, is just about hard work, so that you’re actually learning something and not just jumping through set hoops.

So, if you’re struggling to get your child to comply with their homework, maybe it’s worth sitting and watching one of these inspiring TED talks with them.

Do you have a favorite TED talk that inspires or motivates you to work? Or have you found a genius way to encourage your child to do their homework with enthusiasm? Talk to me about it in the comments!

About the Author
Dom Gibson is the educational content editor at Tutorful, the UK’s fastest growing provider of tutoring services in English and English Literature. He works with expert educators to find the most innovative educational resources, and then shares them with amazing educational sites. 

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Mar 15th 2018

Correcting Grammar without Being Tagged as a Grammar Nazi

grammar nazi

Guest post written by Dominic Lester on March 15, 2018 

We often saw people correcting the mistakes of random people. Just for the sake of establishing my point, you also would have pointed out a mistake in the first sentence of this post in your mind. This has become our habit and we all are doing this unintentionally. That is why people with some conscience towards the non-English speaker’s tag those as the Grammar Nazi who always tries to find mistakes in their English.

However, the majority of the people who correct other’s mistakes does not share the intention of ridiculing anyone. They purely show respect towards their language and want people to speak as well as the native ones. But still, they get the tag of Grammar Nazi which is quite hurtful to that person.

That is why, in this article, I decided to build some sense of correcting grammar in the English grammar enthusiast people by telling them the right ways of correcting the grammar without being tagged as Grammar Nazi.

Know when to correct someone:
Instead of just knowing than to correct the grammar of someone’s it is better to understand when it is appropriate to correct someone. Let’s take the examples of influences and authoritative figures in house like parents and guardians or in the office like managers and in schools like teachers, if you are one of them, then it is appropriate for you to correct the grammar of the people beneath you in relation or position without getting any tag of Grammar Nazi.

Comparatively, there are more positions in which it is inappropriate for you to correct someone’s grammar. Among the friends, coworkers, family members or just in the discussion with any stranger, you have to take some things into consideration before just pointing out the mistakes of others. Things like the level of necessity for the correction. You have to keep your urge of correcting others as calm as possible and only when you find difficult to understand any sentence, then only try to look it from the critic’s eye.

Know when you should not correct someone:
Because we are surrounded by all the devices and technology that is keeping us connected with non-English speaking nations too. That is why you will often interact with people who would make numerous mistakes in their English which build the temptation in you to correct those mistakes. That is why it is imperative for you to keep all the urges calm and know when you should not correct someone.

Before going on to correct someone, it is important for you to build a list of the reasons and check every reason after analyzing. The most imperative reason that should be checked in order to correct someone’s grammar is either the mistake changing the sense or meaning of the sentence or not. This is not only important for the people who are going to read this and also for the person himself. If this reason is not checked in your list, then you should not even try to correct the mistake of anyone or else you will be tagged as the Grammar Nazi.

Tips to correct grammar without getting any tag:

Even if you find necessary to correct someone, there are some ways through which you can show yourself polite. The following are a few tips that will help you in correcting someone’s grammar in the politest manner.

Do not correct someone publicly:
Even if you are correcting a kid, it is important not to hurt his feelings and self-respect. That is why it is important that before correcting someone, either online or in person, the privacy should be imperative. This is the most basic way of showing respect to that person and saving him embarrassment which he would have faced if you would have given to him by correcting his grammar.

Be Precise in your correction:
Instead of getting shy over correcting someone, it is important that you go précised and confident. Instead of starting yourself with the words like um, ah, actually, by the way, you should go for something substantial. The reason why it is important that you have to sound educated and a serious guy to the person whose mistake you are rectifying. That is why you have to think before saying it or else no one is going to think for a fraction of a second before tagging you as a Grammar Nazi.

Make sure you are doing it in the best way:
Now there is a difference between rectifying someone’s mistake in the right way and best way. The right way would be to create the logic in your rectification and satisfying the inner piece of the person. But finding the best way could kill all in one shot. Through the best way, you can understand the necessity of rectifications. The best way would help you in presenting your correction in a way of teaching the person instead of just judging his English speaking or English writing skills.

Use examples:
The best way that I also use to correct someone’s mistake is giving examples. For example, once watching the Doctor Strange, one of my friends pronounced the name of the leading actor wrong. He said the Benedict Cumberhatch has done full justice with this character. Instead of just taunting him by rectifying his mistake, I used the example of one of his interview in which the Benedict himself said that his name is the most badly pronounced named in Hollywood. Then I gave different pronunciation examples of his name and then finally pronounce the Cumberbatch with the right pronunciation. This is how I managed to rectify the mistake of my friend without even letting him feel any embarrassment.

Wrapping up:
In the end, it is all about how you convey your intentions of just correcting someone’s mistake without making him feel ridiculing. This is where your communication skills also count a lot and how well you understand others. But, for the absolute escape from the tag of Grammar Nazi, above points are enough for everyone and anywhere.

About the Author
Dominic Lester is a prominent writer and speaker on communication skills. You can follow him on LinkedInTwitter and G+ for updates.

 

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Mar 6th 2018

Writing Tips For Non-Academics

writing tips

Guest post written by John Obstander on March 6, 2018 

Expressing one’s thoughts and ideas can be a tangled process, especially if there’s a given lack of experience delivering essays, papers and other written materials. Conveying ideas and putting them into words are tough if you haven’t had the practice. If you found yourself in a position of being lost for words, do not fret. There are ways to break through this plateau, and we’ll go over them in this very article.
So, without further ado, here’s a rundown of practical tips you might want to use in order to write compelling texts.

Writing Tips For Non-Academics Begins Here:

Number 1. Tell a Story.
Every text/article has a narrative arc, even heavily research-based ones. This narrative can center around people, concepts, problems, solutions and how they develop over time. As long as you can trace a narrative thread across your piece, the person/audience you’re writing for will have an easier time following and relating to your story. The 5-act dramatic structure works wonders.

Number 2. Appeal to the Senses.
To make your writing more accessible to people, make sure to evoke feelings or sensations. Or – to paraphrase – show, but don’t tell. Come up with a vivid description whenever there’s a need for it. Use metaphors and comparisons to paint a brighter picture or whenever you are having a tough time providing expository lines.

Number 3. Focus on the Details
If you tend to focus on the big picture, this step might be a bit challenging, but details rock if you use them right. The devil’s in the details and this applies heavily to writing. However, those details have to matter in the grand scheme of things. Having those details just for the sake of it is never a good idea, it makes your piece bloated and in need of trimming.

Side note, there’s a piece of great advice I’ve gotten from a colleague of mine during my stay at NerdyMates. If you’re also looking for a way to practice and entertain yourself at the same time, try sneaking in an Easter egg or two. Subtle references are often what separates good and great writing. It’s also a great to speak to your audience directly.

Number 4. Understand Your Audience
Think of your audience when composing each and every paragraph of your text.
How old are they? What do they like? How well can they relate to what you are talking about in your piece?
All these questions are essential to take into account when working on an article, as they help you be on the same wavelength as your audience. As long as what you are writing about is relevant to them, keep it up. If you realize you’re barking up the wrong tree, stop and analyze. What would your audience rather get from you? Act on it.

Number 5. Establish a Purpose
Every text has a purpose, at least there should be one. Are you informing about something? Are you trying to force a conversation? Or maybe you’re trying to sell something? You, as the author, are in charge of educating your audience, entertaining them, or raising an important discussion around a specific topic.
Make the purpose of your message clear and always align your writing with it. As soon as you lose it out of your sight, you are destined to lose the readers’ interest.

Number 6. Proofread and Edit
This point is vital to any text, period. Every person is different and if you are anything like me, then you are writing fast, and asking questions (i.e. Proofreading) later. This means that every so often you make typos, miss words, or jump from one idea to another.
If so, don’t worry: it is absolutely fixable. Proofread and edit your creation once you’re done with it.
You can always use dedicated tools to save some time. There’s an assortment of tools available online, but nothing beats the all-in-one solution offered by Ginger’s Checker. Check for typos, rephrase sentences for improved readability and use the inbuilt dictionary to the fullest extent. Accept no substitute if you ever find yourself in a tough spot.

Number 7. Develop a Unique Voice
Every person uses language to communicate, but there are idiosyncrasies that separate any given person from the rest. And it becomes a lot more apparent if you’re writing something with the scope of hundreds of pages. Do not try to mimic someone you admire as you go, but instead focus on developing your own style and tone.

This is arguably the hardest and most agonizing step: Be creative, always stay true to yourself and own up to your writing.
It is not surprising that both young and older people alike often feel horrified by the prospect of writing an elaborate text from scratch.

Don’t give in and procrastinate, everything’s not as hard as it seems. But you need to stick to a certain routine, like the one outlined above. It takes practice and discipline, but what doesn’t? Dedicate some time to learning the ropes, and who knows, maybe we’ll see your name on a book cover soon alongside the greats.

About the Author
John Obstander is a content marketer with immense experience in creating, selling copies, being a contributing writer to numerous blogs and being awesome in general. John is a true believer that high-quality writing can make our world a much better place. One text at a time.

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Feb 27th 2018

A List Of Common Prefixes And Suffixes

prefixsuffix

Prefixes and suffixes are a group of letters that are added in a word to change its meaning. Commonly, they are used in words to make derivatives. When they are fixed in a word, they not only change the spelling of the word but also change its meaning and the grammatical value.

Prefixes and suffixes can be useful for new English learners as they can help them build their vocabulary in quick time. Compiled by the best assignment writing service, here we go with some of the common prefixes and suffixes that you can learn and practice in your daily English usage.

Prefixes

Prefixes are set of letters that are typically used to negate, counter, or intensify the meaning of a word. The majority of prefixes are used before a noun or adjective, while some are used before a verb. Here are some of the ways you can use prefixes in a word.

To Counter The Meaning Of A Word
Prefixes like im-, anti-, de-, dis-, un-, and non- are used to mean opposite of a word. Examples include:

  • Moral changes into immoral
  • War changes into antiwar
  • Centralize changes into decentralize
  • Agree changes into disagree
  • Official changes into unofficial
  • Political changes into non-Political
  • Armed changes into unarmed

To Increase Or Decrease The Strength Of A Word
Over-, Under-, Up-, Down-, and hyper- are some of the prefixes that are used before a word to denote the degree, quality, quantity, or a trend. Examples are:

  • Rate changes into overrate
  • Perform changes into underperform
  • Scale changes into upscale
  • Fall changes into downfall

Sensitive changes into hypersensitive
To Quantify Something
Letters like mono-, bi-, uni-, di-, and omni- are some of the prefixes that indicate the quantity of something in a word.

  • Lingual changes into monolingual
  • Monthly changes into bi-monthly
  • Sex changes into unisex
  • Pole changes into dipole
  • Present changes into omnipresent

To Denote The Degree Of Something
Mega-, mini-, macro, and micro are some of the prefixes that express the degree of something in a word. Here are the common examples:

  • City changes into megacity
  • Skirt changes into miniskirt
  • Economics changes into macroeconomics
  • Organism changes into microorganism

Suffixes

Suffixes are set of letters that added in the end of a world to make noun, verb, adjective and adverb. Here are some of the ways you can add suffixes to form derivatives:

Noun Suffixes
They are the set of suffixes that are added in the end of a verb to convert it into noun. –or, -er, – al, –ist, -iance/ence, and –ment are some of the common examples of suffixes that make a noun derivative from a verb. Here are some of the examples:

  • Compute changes into computer
  • Curate changes into curator
  • Arrive changes into arrival
  • Rely changes into reliance
  • Employ changes into employment

Verb Suffixes
Verb suffixes are inserted in the end of a word to convert it into verbs. They are often made by adding letters in a noun or adjective. The most common verb suffixes are –en, -ify, ize, and –ate. Examples include:

  • Black changes into blacken
  • Note changes into notify
  • Formal changes into formalize
  • Incapacity changes into incapacitate

Adjective Suffixes
Adjective suffixes are the set of letters that change a base word into adjective. The majority of these adjectives are formed by adding a suffix in a noun that include –able/ -ible, -al, -cal, -ive, -less, and -ish to name a few. Here are the examples:

  • Desire changes into desirable
  • Convert changes into convertible
  • Britain changes into British
  • Technology changes into technological
  • Meaning changes into meaningless
  • Repetition changes into Repetitive

Adverb Suffixes
Adverb suffixes are often comprised of the letters that change an adjective into adverbs. They are formed by adding -ly into an adjective. The most common suffixes are -ly, -ily, -ally, -wise, and -wards. Here are the examples:

  • Swift changes into swiftly
  • Easy changes into easily
  • Organic changes into organically
  • Up changes into upwards
  • Length changes into lengthwise

The aforementioned are some of the most common examples of prefixes and suffixes. If you know more of them, let us know in the comment’s section.

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