"He don't work here no more." A teleconferencing executive confided that those six words cost his company a contract that would have produced a profit of several hundred thousand dollars per year.
Language is as important, if not more so, than speech. While accent calls attention to the way you speak and may distract the listener, it may not be perceived by persons from other parts of the country as unfavorable. Language, however, is associated with level of education. There is a tendency of many Southerners to use nonstandard language. Listeners from other parts of the country assume the speakers use the language they do because they never learned the "correct" or "standard" language. Thus, the use of nonstandard language impacts most unfavorably on the speaker.
The English language is a difficult one to master. For every rule, there are several exceptions. Try the following test sample to see how your skills compare.
Yesterday I (set, sat) the book on the table.
What was the (affect, effect) of the medicine?
Before we left, the child had (drank, drunk) his milk.
Language learning is a life-long effort. Keep a dictionaly and a book of the formal rules of grammar in your work area. Don't hesitate to look up words and grammar usage of which ou are unsure. Remember that good language skills and education are closely associated in the minds of listeners.
(The correct answers are drunk, set, and effect.)
For more information on improving your communication skills for the workplace contact The Perfect Voice at 336-852-2817 (and leave a message for Lilli) or Email: email@example.com.