Vocabulary Quiz #9: Formal Communication

By Mark Nichol

Rewrite the following sentences to reflect the vocabulary expected in formal communication.

1. The clinic specializes in the treatment of kids 4-12.

2. He should of known that Jackson could not be trusted.

3. Hodges was terminated for insubordination, but Hodges says he was going to resign anyways.

4. The company is going to move its corporate headquarters to Atlanta, irregardless of what the shareholders have to say.

5. Police busted three drug dealers in the early morning raid.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: The clinic specializes in the treatment of kids 4-12.
Correct : The clinic specializes in the treatment of children 4-12.

Although widely used, “kid” is still not an appropriate choice when speaking or writing in a serious context.

2.
Original: He should of known that Jackson could not be trusted.
Correct : He should have known that Jackson could not be trusted.

The spelling “should of” is influenced by oral speech and is slipping into written English where “should have” is called for.

3.
Original: Hodges was terminated for insubordination, but Hodges says he was going to resign anyways.
Correct : Hodges was terminated for insubordination, but Hodges says he was going to resign anyway.

The standard form of the adverb is anyway. At this stage in its use, the word anyways bears a connotation of insolence.

4.
Original: The company is going to move its corporate headquarters to Atlanta, irregardless of what the shareholders have to say.
Correct : The company is going to move its corporate headquarters to Atlanta, regardless of what the shareholders have to say.

The word irregardless gained popularity from its comical use on a radio program. Speakers and writers who do not intend to be humorous will choose regardless.

5.
Original: Police busted three drug dealers in the early morning raid.
Correct : Police arrested three drug dealers in the early morning raid.

Criminal slang has become very common in the U. S. news media, especially in headlines. The effect is to normalize the criminal viewpoint in a way that perhaps the writer does not intend.

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3 Responses to “Vocabulary Quiz #9: Formal Communication”

  • Agua Caliente

    Irregardless -> “disirregardless” -> “undisirregardless.” It’s all disheartening, isn’t it?

  • Rodolfo Garabot

    Just when you thought everything was right…then think again.

    Thank you!

  • venqax

    This is a timely article from my perspective. Earlier this week I took notice of a serious newspaper article that used the term “cops” for police and it caused me to pause and think about this very issue; especially relevant to #5. In correcting student writing I find this to be one of the most difficult things to convey. The notion that some terms are not necessarily wrong but are still not appropriate to a given context is simply lost on many people.

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