I suspect one of the many traits of a true proposal professional is a higher sensitivity to the use of words. Most of us will cringe when we hear someone say, “He (or she) is a good writer” or even worse, “I write good.” (I’m cringing just as I write that line.)
Other times the use of a word will be proper but not the best possible choice. One of these is the use of ‘right’ when ‘correct’ would be much more helpful. This happened recently when I was asking someone to confirm directions. I asked, “I should make a left here?” and they responded, “Right”. You can imagine my confusion (and I had an immediate flashback to that famous Abbot and Costello routine. I suspect that was before your time, Jon, and perhaps not as well known in the UK.)
Then there are those occasions where someone doesn’t get it quite right. I had three separate instances of this recently, all at the gathering (which perhaps says something about the folks with whom I was hanging out. :-)
The first of these was an individual relating his trip on a cruise ship. HE said he enjoyed it very much, with the exception of the multiple “mustards”. When I first heard this I thought he was referring to the condiment. After hearing him use the term repeatedly it turns out he was referring to the several “musters” of the passengers to get safety instructions, ship orientation, etc.
The second of these ‘not quite right’s was my overhearing someone stating, with great frustration in their voice, “I’m about at the end of my line.” (This caused me to picture them at the end of a fishing line or at the last stop on the train.)
The final such incidence was the person who described their manager as having a “Heckyl and Jeckyl” type personality. Again, it may elude Jon but many of our readers will recall that these two were cartoon characters (and not the dual personality character from R.L. Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.)
I might have corrected these individuals, had I thought I could do so without laughing, and besides, it does make for a most interesting conversation.
This does highlight the need to do a “correct word usage” review of our responses before they go out. Otherwise we might be referring to a sage when we really mean to be speaking about the other kinds of prophets. :-)