Welcome the “Wednesday Word,” featuring bite-sized bits of advice before you sprint ahead for the rest of the week.
Today’s advice is simple–or should be. I have noticed, with alarming frequency, sightings of could/should/would “of” instead of writing “could have,” “should have” and “would have.” I see this mistake made mostly in comment sections on websites and on Facebook, but it happens often enough that it may bleed into business writing.
I have no idea why people make that type of mistake. If I had to guess, I’d blame careless diction. Apparently, we’re in such a rush these days that we can barely utter a one-syllable word correctly, or with clarity. Our ears hear “of,” so some of us write it, too.
Whatever the case may be, do NOT let that happen to you. To review: Have is a verb. Of is a preposition. Could have. Should have. Would have.
Take the time to pronounce the words correctly, and most certainly, to write them correctly!
And that’s your Wednesday Word.