When To Use The Right Word

Written by Andrea Reid

Is it effect or affect? Should it be then or than? Accept or except?

There are times when we inadvertently use words incorrectly in sentences. I used to see this often while working for a company where I was responsible for reviewing and proofreading marketing campaigns. The word that constantly appeared in the verbiage was checkout. Should it be one or two words? When/how do you use each in a sentence? 

As one of the callouts that I had to report back to managers, I had to explain the difference in the meaning of these words. Check out is a verb. You are doing an action such as taking a look at something. For instance, when used in a sentence, one can say, “Check out that plane in the sky!” Conversely, checkout is a noun. When someone is in the grocery store, the checkout is where they would go to pay for their groceries.  

Branding is important to companies in the marketplace. Seeing words being misused were concerning to me as I was thinking about the brand. Having grammatical errors, while minor in the big scheme of things, can still tarnish a company’s image. Though this was not the case for the company in which I worked, it’s good to pay attention to these types of gaffes to maintain the company’s brand.