Say it Write!

An ongoing series of topics about our services, writing, and the English language.

Say it Write!

​An ongoing series of topics about our services, writing and the English language.

They were all out shopping.

Lainy

What does that sentence mean?

The English language is complex with its many subtleties and intricacies.  If you were to listen to someone say that sentence, you would be able to determine the meaning by where the speaker put the emphasis.  However, when reading it, you have to take into consideration the context of the paragraph and the actions being described.

"They were all out shopping." actually means "all of them were out shopping."

"They were all out shopping." - actually means "they were giving every effort to their shopping; pouring all their energy into shopping."

Graphic title English friend or foe

English - Friend or Foe?

by Lainy

"...I got held up at the bank..."

Here is the story behind the above-noted expression.

One day while I was working for an employer, I was on my lunch break and had to do some personal banking. What I needed to do took longer than expected and I was running late to get back to the office. At the same time there was a train crossing the road that I needed to take to get back to the office.

While waiting for the train to finish crossing the road, I called the office to let them know that I was close, but running late. That is when I said the above. Here is a snippet of the conversation:


Coworker: Hello

Me: Hi Coworker, this is Elaina. Sorry, I got held up at the bank, but I'm on my way back and waiting on the train.

Coworker: Oh my God! Are you okay?

Me: I'm fine...oh no! Sorry, I should have said I was delayed at the bank. No I wasn't robbed, it just took longer than expected.

Coworker: Oh thank God you're okay. Don't worry, just get here safely.


When I got back to the office, it made for a little bit of hilarious conversation and made me realize just how careful we need to be when choosing our words during our conversations. Like a misplaced decimal can cause you to lose or gain lots of money, a misplaced or misused word can cause a little or a lot of confusion. And even though two people may be speaking English with each other, there can still be huge problems with communication and understanding each other.

Cultural backgrounds and the areas we grow up in influence how we express ourselves. This has led to some funny arguments with me and my husband. He was raised with British English and I was raised with Ontario, Canada English. Words we used in Ontario, in one context, are used in another context where he is from and it has led to some interesting and sometimes frustrating conversations.

The reason for saying Ontario English is because, although we have the same English across Canada, we express ourselves differently from one coast to the other and all provinces and Territories in between.

So, to avoid miscommunication with people, carefully think about what your message actually is and choose the appropriate words to convey that message as clearly as possible. Take into consideration your geographic location and the culture of where you are. And if you do misunderstand someone or someone is not understanding you, be patient with each other and have a little chuckle.

Graphic title English friend or foe

Changes coming to Ineya Virtual Admin Services

by Lainy

Why are we going to all the trouble of changing our name? Are our services changing too?

Changing Our Name

During the past few months, there has been some confusion around what it is that we actually do. The name Ineya Virtual Admin Services has been lost in the sea of Virtual Assistants. While, to some extent, there is an assistant component to our services, we do not provide assistant services in the sense of what you would find in a typical office environment. However, if that is what you are looking for, please contact us and we can help you find someone who does that.

Service Changes

In a nutshell, we are not changing our services.

We still offer to review and edit your existing business documents as well as write new ones for you. In addition, though not clearly conveyed under Virtual Admin Services, we help you get your online content written in a clear and concise way.

What's New

We are adding the service of turning your video and/or audio recordings into online content for blogs and newsletters. This can be done by providing us with the recording and we will transcribe it and turn it into a few blogs. How many blogs is determined by the length of the recording and the topic(s) covered. An alternate way of doing this is to provide your transcription to us and we will write the blogs for you.

The advantage of this style of writing blogs is that we get to learn your voice very quickly and your blogs sound like you when your readers read them.

Who is this for?

Who would typically use this kind of service?

Web Developers, Web Designers, etc., basically, anyone who would like to help their clients get their content written sooner. Small Business owners who are too busy to write their own content or people who regularly record videos or audio content who don't have time to turn that content into written content.

If you would like more information or have any questions, visit our contact page. 

Graphic title English friend or foe

Ineya Content Management

by Lainy

Things are coming together. Our branding is coming together; you can see the colours in our logo and we have our fonts selected.

Our web URL has been updated and auto-responses have been set up to redirect you to our updated website and email address.

We're putting the finishing touches on everything so that when we officially relaunch later this month, hopefully, you will like what you see and will be encouraged to hire us for your content writing needs.


New Feature/Service

Running out of things to say on your website or blog?

Do you have videos, audio recordings or podcasts?

Have they been transcribed?

A new feature/service that we added last month is transcription. We will take your video and audio recordings, transcribe them and turn them into online content. This will revitalize your website or blog. You can even take some of your old blogs and repurpose them into new content. Never say you've run out of ideas to write about for your blog. If you are feeling that way, why not contact us and we'll review what you have already and help you repurpose your old content. You could even turn those old written blogs into videos, audio recordings or even use them as topics for a podcast.


Graphic title English friend or foe

Confused Words

by Lainy

How would you answer the following?

  1. I accept/except this award on behalf of my colleague.
  2. You can have anything in the refrigerator accept/except for the pumpkin pie.
  3. The cleaning agent did not affect/effect the marker stain on the wall.
  4. Pete's talk with his son appeared to have no affect/effect on his son's behaviour.

How did you do? Look for the answers at the end of the article.


Influences on the English Language

The English language is fraught with words that can easily be confused or misused both in conversation and writing. Add to that confusion the different vernaculars from around the world. Something said in Australia could and often does mean something different in Canada, the UK, South Africa or any other English-speaking country. Not to mention that within those countries there can be added confusion based on where you’re from.


Take Canada for instance. The difference between the East and West Coast is remarkable. Each has its own cultural expressions influenced by the lifestyle differences found on either coast. Then you have to factor in the Prairie Provinces that have another distinct way of expressing themselves due to the nature of their landscape and again the lifestyle they experience there. Don’t forget the Territories to the north. Again, their language and expressions would be influenced by their surroundings and lifestyle. And yet we all speak English whichever province we’re from (except Quebec; while they do have some English communities, the official language there is French).


To top all that off, new words are continually being added to the English Language. According to Merriam-Webster, over 1,000 words were added in 2017. The article, We Just Added More Than 1,000 New Words to the Dictionary, gives us two of those words such as “'Seussian' ("of, relating to, or suggestive of the works of Dr. Seuss")” and “'face-palm' ("to cover one's face with the hand as an expression of embarrassment").” I intend to add ‘Seussian’ to my vocabulary and I’m sure I’ve already used ‘face-palm’ numerous times already.


Accept, Except, Affect, and Effect

These words are some of the more commonly confused and misused words in the English language. What do they mean?


Accept

Basically, it’s “to receive something offered willingly.” (Click the word to see additional definitions.)

Except

“with the exclusion or exception of”

Affect

“the conscious subjective aspect of an emotion considered apart from bodily changes; also: a set of observable manifestations of a subjectively experienced emotion”

Effect

“something that inevitably follows an antecedent (such as a cause or agent)”


Make Use of the Dictionary

The best thing you can do for yourself is to use a dictionary, especially if you are not familiar with how to use a word properly. While many people are well versed in the written English language, it would be in your best interest to not rely on them to answer your writing questions. Even I check online sources to see if I’m applying words correctly. If you're not sure how to spell a word, type what you think it might be in the Google search bar and it will help you find the word you're looking for.


The reason I recommend this is because of a friend’s experience with the word ‘caulking’. As many of you know, the ‘L’ is pretty much silent and if you are not familiar with this product or any of the industries that use it the word sounds like something else (I’ll leave that to your imagination). There were many reports filled out with the incorrect spelling of ‘caulking’ and it led to some laughs, but embarrassment for her.


That is why it is important to make sure you check the spelling of words that you are not familiar with and definitely check the context that the word is being used in as well as its meaning.


So, how did you do?

The answers to the questions at the beginning of this article are as follows:

  1. accept
  2. except
  3. affect
  4. effect

Was this article helpful? Did you find it interesting? What are some of your challenges with the written English language? Please visit our Contact page and let us know what you thought. You can also send an email to [email protected].

Graphic title English friend or foe

Introducing Lainy

by Lainy

Wow! That was a lot of work! But we’re finally moving full steam ahead with our new branding.


Please meet Lainy.


She is the product of my story and vision as well as the hard work of Reza with Pitch Graphic. He took the simple drawing by a five-year-old (something I did many years ago), the story behind it and came up with my girl. Check him out over at pitchgraphic.com


Lainy is a nickname that friends have used for me over the years. I thought it would be appropriate to name my girl that. My blogs will be written under that name.


Come back soon to read the whole story behind Lainy and see the original drawing.


Thanks for reading and feel free to send me any thoughts, comments or questions you might have.