Apparently it doesn't always have to be about sales training. The immediate and enthusiastic response to my recent blog, "A Plea for Proper Grammar," prompted this follow up with the 50 Most Misused and Abused Words in Business Writing. The completed and formatted article is available here. An abbreviated version of the article appears below.

This information may not be classic sales training content, but your communication skills do play a significant role in achieving Positive Contact with your customers and all professional associates. Read it. Share it. You'll be glad you did!

accept, except
- (verb) To agree with, take in, receive.
Example: We accept your decision.
except - (preposition) Apart from.
Example: All committee members are present except for Ms. Brown.

acute, chronic
- (adjective) Sharp, intense, critical.
Example: The company has an acute shortage of skilled workers right now.
chronic - (adjective) Constant, habitual, long-lasting.
Example: She is unable to work because of a chronic illness.

adverse, averse
- (adjective) Unfavorable, opposing one's interest.
Example: They found themselves in adverse circumstances.
averse - (adjective) Antipathy, repugnance, having the feeling of being opposed.
Example: She is not averse to increasing her workload.

affect, effect
- (verb) To influence something.
Example: How will that affect the bottom line?
effect - (noun) The result of. (verb) to cause something to be.
Example: Her speech had the effect of motivating the listeners.

allusion, illusion
- (noun) A casual reference of mention of something.
Example: Was that an allusion to Hemingway?
illusion - (noun) Something that gives a false picture of reality.
Example: He believes democracy is an illusion.

apprise, appraise
- (verb) Give notice to.
Example: Please apprise me of the situation.
appraise - (verb) Determine the worth of something.
Example: The ring was appraised before we purchased it.

assure, ensure, insure
- (verb) To state with confidence, pledge or promise.
Example: I assure you the check is in the mail.
ensure - (verb) To make certain.
Example: Following the instructions ensures you won't get hurt.
insure - (verb) To purchase insurance.
Example: Insure the package before you mail it.

beside, besides
- (preposition) At the side of, next to, near.
Example: Take a seat beside me.
besides - (adverb) Furthermore, in addition to.
Example: Besides, several of us will be out of town next week.

compliment, complement
- (verb) To give praise.
Example: I complimented Steve on his speech.
complement - (verb) To complete something or match it well.
Example: Her skills complement the needs of our department.

continual, continuous
- (adjective) Often repeated, very frequent - but occasionally interrupted.
Example: They've received continual complaints.
continuous - (adjective) Uninterrupted.
Example: We couldn't hear over his continuous talking.

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