Column: Social media grammar goofs to avoid


Commentary by Curtis Honeycutt

Did you know most prospective employers check your social media account as an unofficial step in the job interview process? Yikes. That means he or she probably scrolled through to see your late night, all caps rant about whichever political party you oppose, as well as your “Bachelorette” finale live-tweeting session (I can’t believe she picked him, either). The same goes for basic grammar and spelling. Today I’m tackling five Facebook foibles and Twitter trip-ups that very well may prevent you from getting hired for the job you want.

If you’re looking for a great job, you need to know your grammar. Did you catch what I did there? Too often I see people use “your” when they should use “you’re.” Your is something you own or possess; you’re is the contraction (or mash up, as I like to call it) of “you” and “are.” Believe it or not, using these two words incorrectly makes Clippy the Microsoft Word assistant weep himself rusty.

When you write “I hope the Colts don’t lose again,” you likely hope they score more points than the Patriots. When you write “I hope the Colts don’t loose again,” you’re suggesting they remember to put on their belts so their pants don’t fall down. See the difference?

“There” names a place, thing or the existence of something: I think I left my chapstick over there. To check if you’re using “there” correctly, see if you can replace “there” with “here.”

“Their” shows possession: I can’t believe those chowder-eating cheaters the Patriots deflated their footballs. To check if you’re using “their” correctly, see if you can replace “their” with “our.”

“They’re” is a mash up of “they” and “are:” Huzzah, they’re having a sale on Burt’s Bees chapstick at Target! To check if you’re using “they’re” correctly, see if you can replace “they’re” with “they are.”

Yes, in addition to the topics of your social media posts, employers also look at the content of your characters. So, what’s the lesson here? Treat every post as if your future HR director is watching; practice common sense in your spelling and your socializing.


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