Many of us are taking summer vacations, but that doesn’t mean we should take a holiday from being lifelong learners. As Albert Einstein stated, “Once you stop learning, you start dying.”
Business etiquette is all about heightening self-awareness to the importance of high-caliber communication skills, and conversing with proper grammar speaks volumes about our polish, professionalism, and intellect. In today’s digital world, the internet and smartphones have radically redefined how we are all communicating, and mediocrity is prevailing. Our speech is becoming casual, crass, and grammatically incorrect. Our poor grammar is making us appear lazy or uneducated. We can make powerful impressions by speaking intelligently.
Certain words are confusing because of their similarity. Here are two scenarios that are misused every day so be aware of falling into the trap too.
When to use “I” and when to use “me”
1. Which one is correct?
a. Dan drove Barb and I to the mall.
b. Dan drove Barb and me to the mall.
c. Dan drove me and Barb to the mall.
2. Which one is correct?
a. Me and Dan attended the dance.
b. Dan and I attended the dance.
c. Dan and me attended the dance.
3. Which one is correct?
a. My friend is visiting me, Carol, and my family.
b. My friend is visiting my family, me, and Carol.
c. My friend is visiting Carol, my family, and me.
The correct answers are 1b, 2b, and 3c.
Trick for Example 1: Remove the other person’s name from the sentence and ask yourself which one sounds better, “I” or “me”, once you say it without the other person’s name. Does it sound better to say, “Dan drove me to the mall” or “Dan drove I to the mall”? Therefore, say “Dan drove Barb and ME (not I) to the mall.” In Ex. 2, does it sound better to say “I attended the dance”, instead of, “Me attended the dance”? Therefore, say “Dan and I (not me) attended the dance.”
Trick for Examples 2 & 3: As with all things in life, be others-focused and put the other persons before yourself. This is a handy way to remember when you are struggling with whose name to put first in a sentence. “Dan and I (not Me and Dan) attended the dance” is proper. In Example 3, put Carol and the family before yourself.
When to Use the Words, “Good” and “Well”
Too often, we mistakenly use the word “good” when it should be “well” and vice versa. The word “good” is an adjective that modifies nouns. The word “well” is generally an adverb that modifies verbs. Therefore, be cognizant of the word you are modifying.
Which is proper - good or well?
a. She presented very good/well at the corporate etiquette workshop.
b. It’s surprising that the player will feel good/well enough to play.
c. I am doing good/well.
The correct answers for all of the above are “well” since it modifies the verbs: presented, feel, and doing.
Employing proper grammar allows us to be taken seriously and commands respect. Don't undermine your credibility and care enough to speak well so that you can be the finest ambassador of yourself that you can be. Words matter. Speak with authority. It will set you apart with excellence and high distinction.