Common Word Choice Mistakes That Impact Your Content

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As Payline Data’s Content Manager, I know that grammar and word choice can make or break my content. This is especially the case when writing for SEO or when writing about technical topics like payment processing. Content, no matter how its packaged at your business, is still king, and so it is especially important that your content manager avoids making these common word choice mistakes:


1. Affect vs. Effect
Affect is a verb that means to influence whereas effect is a noun that means a result (as in cause and effect). For instance, earlier on the Payline Blog, we wrote about how an e-cigarette business will be affected by changes  brought on byFDA regulations. We also listed the effects that this could have on a business.

2. Login vs. Log in

If used as one word, login is just a noun or an adjective (as in, “Provide the correct login information.”). Only when it’s written as log in does the term function as a verb. When you send your welcome emails asking customers to access their account, you are asking them to log in. You log in with your login information and password. Note: a hyphen between the words log and in turn log-in into a noun.

3. Further vs. Farther

While it sounds like they mean the same thing when you hear them used incorrectly, they are not the same word and cannot be used interchangeably. Farther describes a physical distance and further is a figurative term. Let’s take the phrase “one step further” to commonly describe intellectual movement to stretch a thought. One step farther would imply that you were planning on taking one actual step in a forward distance.

4. Complementary vs. Complimentary

This is one of the top common word choice mistakes that could cost your business some money. If two things are complementary then they go well together (like peas and carrots). Complimentary, on the other hand, implies that something came without a cost (see how easily this mistake could get your business into trouble?). If you offer services that come for free, say complimentary. If you offer products that go well together, then say that they are complementary.

5. Pique vs. Peak vs. Peek

This is one of the common word choice mistakes that I see misused quite often when marketing emails offer you an “exclusive sneak peak” of a product when what they they really mean to show you is a “sneak peek”. A peak is a high point of elevation whereas a peek (like it’s double-consonant cousin “look”) means to view quickly. Pique, an easier term to differentiate from the others, means to stimulate. So, it may pique your interest to peek at the options that a processing company like Payline offers your business, but be sure to get eyes on their peaks and valleys that other customers share on review sites.

Experience Payments Differently 

Choose a company like Payline to help run your business. Payline offers tips on processing and other business needs that you should consider in order to be successful.

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