How Education Companies can Look Uneducated!
Grammar for Tutoring Companies
It’s very important for tutoring companies to use correct grammar. That is to say, the idea of hiring people who use proper grammar is not new, but standards are slipping in our digital age. Some say, texting and media is destroying our grammar. Above all, language evolves and our vernacular expands. But let’s look at whether this is always appropriate!
Use Correct Grammar
Looking at this from the perspective of tutoring and educational companies, things don’t change. For example, if tutoring companies offering English Language instruction, have problems using it. What does this say regarding the quality of your product?
Running a tutoring company and all that involves will need the written word. For example, communicating with customers, developing marketing materials and writing emails is critical to your success. People will judge you.
While we don’t have the space here to cover all the errors I see on tutoring websites and day to day communications with tutoring companies. Here are a few of the top errors that can be devastating, that I see on a daily basis.
1. OFF OF. “This was off of the internet.” Off of, is used when discussing buildings and architecture. For example a buttress comes off of the side of a building. When discussing all else the correct form is from or just plain off. In other words, this is from the internet or get this off me.
2. BELOW. “please see the below email.” Please see the following email or please see the email below.
3. TO & TOO and sometimes even TWO. Too means also and therefore to does not mean also. Consequently, take the time to check your usage.
4. YOUR & YOU’RE. This is a very common error, as are most contractions. You’re is YOU ARE, whilst your is not! The instances of your being used when you’re should be used are numerous and alarming.
5. THERE, THEIR & THEY’RE. This one includes the above mentioned contraction and possession. There is a place, their is possessive and they’re is a contraction. For example, over there, their house and they’re not coming. They’re is THEY ARE.
Grammar and the Possessive Apostrophe
6. The ‘possessive apostrophe’ and its massacre when used with plurals can make me flinch. Again, if these errors are included on your website parents will spot it and perhaps decide against your tutoring services.
For example, we all know ‘the assistant’s computer’ when talking of one assistant and their computer. However, if there are two assistants sharing a computer, the apostrophe will go after the plural. Thus denoting there exists more than one assistant: The assistants’ computer.
The error is made often on tutoring websites with the word company when referring to your organization. Say, for example, you wish to refer to the objective of the company, then it is the company’s objective. That is to say the objective belongs to the company. So it’s not the companies objective as this is plural not possessive. Unless of course there is more than one company and then: The companies’ objective.
It becomes more complicated with words that already end in ‘s’. Then you have a possessive apostrophe but do NOT repeat the possessive ‘s’. Charles’ house, not Charles’s house, but don’t ask me what to do if two people named Charles own the house!
The Grammatical Exception
7. IT’S and ITS. This is the one that breaks the rules or that is to say, the exception that proves the rule. ‘Its’ is possessive but has no possessive apostrophe, as that has already been taken by the contraction ‘it is’. So I’m guessing there has to be some way to tell them apart!
You don’t need to be able to understand calculus to hire a calculus tutor or understand grammar to hire an English tutor. However, your use of the English Language is slightly different. We use it every day and the spoken word allows us many gimmes; the written word does not.
Consequently, it is out there, you can’t take it back and it’s telling people about your attention to detail. We all know that you don’t need to be great at grammar to be an entrepreneur. However, if you know it is not your strongest suit then have someone check important letters, applications and marketing materials. You might be glad you did!
Now find our deliberate mistakes!
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