Tabs on Writing

The Business of Business Writing by John Tabellione, Principal at

This Time It’s Personal

Date: 27 April 2010
Category: Homophones, Special Words, Spelling

Nothing personal, mind you, just wanted to introduce a three-part word definition to prevent possible spelling errors:

Personal – This one is easy, meaning private or pertaining to an individual; as a noun it means a short note, as in the classified section of a newspaper.

Personnel – While it has the same Latin root origins, this word has a different accent on the last syllable and pertains to a group of persons employed in an organization.

Personable – Sometimes misused in place of personal, this word means having a pleasant, agreeable demeanor.

Make a spelling mistake with these similar words, or use them in the wrong context, and you could become a persona non grata.

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