Presume vs. Assume

Photo from: (un)Enlightened English
I needed a refresher on Presume vs. Assume, so I thought rather than hoard the information, I would share. Also, because I’m pretty sure I am not the only person using this incorrectly.

While most resources and a quick Google search will tell you the words can be used interchangeably now, it wasn’t always that way. I believe as writers we shouldn’t use words incorrectly as a professional just because everyone else does. As for in your personal relationships, that’s another topic for another time. lists presume as “to suppose to be true without proof” and lists the example of “presumed innocent until proved guilty.” My read on this is that presume is without complete evidence. Therefore, I presume the earth is round even though I can’t see it.

Assume, also according to means “to take as granted or true” additionally it lists “suppose” as a synonym. The example on the website is, “I assume he’ll be there.” I have no proof he will be there. The website goes further to say “assume often implies a justifiable motive rather than an intent to deceive.” Example: “assumed an air of cheerfulness around the patients.”

I think it boils down to this:
Assume – no proof
Presume – some proof

Is this clear as mud?

My Single Piece of Advice to 2010 Graduates (PR or not)

Photo from: Ricomoss
I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve made this mistake more than once. A few times, it has worked out well for me. Others have been total disasters.

Don’t accept the first job offer that comes your way, just because it is the first.

Think about that for a minute. Job hunting is scary. It is intimidating and isn’t easy. But trying to fit yourself into a company that doesn’t work for you or a boss with a personality that doesn’t mesh with yours is worse. Unless the position is a perfect fit and will offer you everything you want in a company, culture and in personal relationships with co-workers, it is ok to turn it down.

Yes, your parents might be disappointed and your friends might not understand, but they are not the ones who will have to work there for nine hours (or more!) a day, five (or more!) days per week.

It is perfectly fine to turn down a job you wouldn’t find the work interesting. Of if after the interview you have a gut feeling that it wouldn’t be a good fit. Don’t ignore that. Don’t just say, well it might not be so bad. You have instincts for a reason.

I was on one interview where my possible future boss, stepped on every sentence I had. She was a bit abrasive even in the interview setting. If I had listened to my gut, I would have realized that if she acts this way now, she’ll be even worse if I actually worked for her. And she was.

If I hadn’t just accepted that job off the bat and had waited just a week more, I could have accepted a job in a better environment, with a more collegial staff. I didn’t accept because I had just started a new job. I still kick myself for that.

There are many resources available to you to help decide if an offer is right for you. Just start with Google or your Help a PR Pro Out comrades. In the end, it is your choice. If it doesn’t feel like a choice, consider that a sign that it might be worth waiting for the next opportunity.