Co- worker’s bad gram­mar is cause for con­cern

Simcoe Reformer - - CLASSIFIEDS - AMY Dick­in­son

Dear Amy: I have a co- worker who has ter­ri­ble gram­mar.

Sure, we all make gram­mar mis­takes from time to time, but his is re­ally bad all the time and peo­ple are start­ing to laugh at him or make glances to other team mem­bers about it when he makes pre­sen­ta­tions.

I be­lieve English is his first and only spo­ken lan­guage ( we all have our spo­ken lan­guages doc­u­mented in case a cus­tomer re­quires spe­cific lan­guage help).

How­ever, I don’t think any­one cor­rects him.

I don’t know him very well, but he is in my busi­ness cir­cle. How­ever, he is one level higher than me in the hi­er­ar­chy.

I hate to see this guy be the butt of co- worker jokes and for peo­ple not to take him se­ri­ously. He seems like a good worker and is quite lik­able.

The only idea I have so far is to dis­trib­ute or post a “com­mon gram­mar mis­takes” doc­u­ment and try to tie it in with an acro­nym guide for all staff mem­bers.

It still could come across as a tar­geted mes­sage, how­ever, as he is the acro­nym king.

Is there a bet­ter way to ad­dress this, or should I just leave it alone? — Cor­rect Co- worker Dear Cor­rect: First of all,

“The Acro­nym King” is most def­i­nitely my su­per­hero name.

Dis­tribut­ing a list of “com­mon gram­mar mis­takes” might be a good idea for your en­tire team, cer­tainly if you all in­ter­act di­rectly with cus­tomers. How­ever, I don’t think this cheat sheet would nec­es­sar­ily have a pos­i­tive im­pact on the co- worker who has the big­gest prob­lem, be­cause he may not even hear his er­rors.

Be­cause you de­scribe this per­son as a rung above you on your pro­fes­sional lad­der, it might be seen as in­sub­or­di­nate for you to per­son­ally cor­rect him ( and of course you should never em­bar­rass him by cor­rect­ing him pub­licly).

You should share your con­cern with your own su­per­vi­sor. Say, “I’m con­cerned about ‘ Joe’ be­cause his very poor gram­mar is un­der­min­ing him with the team. I’m not sure how to help him, but I think some­body should. Can he be of­fered lan­guage coach­ing?”

Dear Amy: “Car­ing Hus­band” said his wife of­ten com­plained that he didn’t lis­ten! He should get his hear­ing tested.

My car­ing hus­band did, and it turned out he had a hear­ing loss that was lim­ited to the range of women’s voices. ( He could hear lower pitched sounds, which is typ­i­cal in age- re­lated hear­ing loss). My daugh­ters and I found that this ex­plained a lot of what was hap­pen­ing in our house­hold. — Been There

Been There: “I can’t hear women’s voices!” is clas­sic. All the same, this ex­pla­na­tion makes sense, and hear­ing aids can be life- chang­ing.

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