Some words that are commonly considered to be interchangeable, but actually have very different, often opposite, meanings. Employing the wrong word in a given situation, such as overlooking an important piece of paperwork as opposed to overseeing it, could have disastrous consequences in the workplace.
Other mistakes can be less serious, but can still result in confusion. For example, following an interview for a promotion at which the candidate believed they had performed very well, imagine their reaction to receiving a notification that they’d been ‘excepted’ for the position. Assuming that the employee was familiar with the correct use of the English language, they would instantly wonder what they’d done wrong. Was it something they said? What had someone taken exception to? And how would this affect their career in their current position, since they’d missed out on the promotion for some mysterious, but clearly very important, reason? The candidate’s reaction would of course be very different if they received notice that they’d been ‘accepted’ for the job, prompting congratulations from their fellow employees and celebrations with friends and family.
Altogether and all together are also often confused. Altogether means completely or entirely, whereas all together relates to a group, as in ‘I’d like to have the sales people all together in the boardroom for an announcement’. If you wish to inform your employees that something is entirely false, you would state that ‘the rumors about impending office closures are altogether untrue’ or that ‘the situation next month could be altogether different’, for example. Some time and sometime are also frequently used incorrectly. If your coworker has assisted you in the completion of an important project, you might tell them ‘thanks a lot. I hope I’ll be able to help you out in return sometime.’ However, some time is specific, as in when you reassure your friend who is preparing for an interview, ‘don’t worry, you still have some time to get ready.’
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