Bring vs. Take: A Grammar Lesson

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I wasn’t sure of the right answer on this one when a reader asked the other day.

After some research and a quick visit to Grammar Girl, I learned that it is a fairly simple rule, you bring something to where you are, you take something to where you are going.

Her example is, “I would ask Aardvark to bring Squiggly to my party next week, and then Aardvark would call Squiggly and ask, ‘May I take you to Grammar Girl’s party?’ I am asking Aardvark to bring Squiggly because I am at the destination—from my perspective, Aardvark is bringing someone here. Aardvark is offering to take Squiggly because he is transporting someone to a remote destination—from Aardvark’s perspective, he is taking someone there.”

Sounds easy, right? It is, but there are exceptions. For those you should go to Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips on the topic, here.

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Could Care Less vs. Couldn’t Care Less: A Grammar Lesson

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This cliché sees to throw people for a loop. The right phrase is, “I couldn’t care less.” Because if you “could care less,” you are caring some.

Still want more proof?

From the The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms, “This expression originated about 1940 in Britain and for a time invariably used couldn’t. About 1960 could was occasionally substituted, and today both versions are used with approximately equal frequency, despite their being antonyms.”

Faze vs. Phase: A Grammar Lesson

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Today’s grammar lesson comes from Steve Woodruff, President of Impactiviti.

He had a tweet a few weeks ago that made me laugh at first and then cringe a little as I started noticing it in various places and different contexts.

Woodruff’s tweet was, “btw, nothing will ‘phase’ you unless you are on a Star Trek set. However, something might or might not ‘faze’ you.”

Faze according to merriam-webster.com is an “alteration of feeze to drive away, frighten, from Middle English fesen, from Old English fēsian to drive away” as of 1830 it means “to disturb the composure of.”

Phase “is a noun or verb having to do with an aspect of something.” You can phase something in or go through a phase.

So unless you’re writing science fiction avoid using phase to mean upset.

Affect vs. Effect: A Grammar Lesson

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Just when I think I’ve got this one down, something trips me up.

Affect is something that happens. My favorite grammarian, Grammar Girl lists affect as a verb and is means to influence.

Effect is a result and a noun.

One is a noun, the other is a verb. With that, I shouldn’t be able to mix this up anymore.

Don’t Forget to Say Thank You

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As I addressed previously in The Lost Art of the Thank You Note, I strongly believe saying thank you is important. It seems that in the rush to get help and information some young professionals may be forgetting this common courtesy.

If a professional offers you advice, a resume critique or job search assistance, at minimum say thank you. I’m not suggesting you buy them flowers or send chocolates, but I am suggesting you write them a note thanking them for their help and promising to keep them updated on your progress.

While you might view not sending a note as no big deal, the professional person might see it as a slight, which could hurt you in the long run. Besides, don’t you want to be known as that up-and-coming, thoughtful and polite young professional? A thank you note can help you establish that reputation.

And let’s face it, in the ever shrinking professional world, your reputation is what you make it and then how you maintain it.