Goals for Speech

What can you say? What are you saying? Setting goals for good etiquette also applies to using slang, profanity, and not being sensitive. Do you realize how easy it is to use abbreviated ways of speaking and choosing grammar which is not correct? While it may be understandable, it may be sending off signals that you lack education, culture and can’t speak or write correctly. Here are some examples:

  • “I be tired”
  • “I is not talking right”
  • “I ain’t doin’ that”
  • “I am not doin’ that”
  • “I got five cents”
  • “I asked did he do it?”
  • “I don’t got none
  • “and then she says that she is going to the store”
  • “She ugly. Something is wrong with the way that person looks”
  • Frequently apologizing to start a sentenceI am sorry. Can you tell me…”
  • Dropping words out of the sentence: they customers”, “he the man
  • Using the wrong tense of a verb: “He have drunk that soda before.”
  • Calling people by inappropriate monikers, racial monikers, or physical monikers: “not had”, “fatso”, “chink”, “spec”, “retard”
  • Double negative: “I don’t got none”
  • Use of the word “like” and overuse of the word “like”: “Like you know?”
  • “Dis” instead of “this”
  • Speaking about sensitive or taboo topics which might make conversation uncomfortable for the others listening
  • Pointing out what you perceive as mistakes in others
  • Mocking other people in sounds or words
  • Ebonics and ‘talkin’ Texan’ should not be an excuse to use poor grammar
  • Confrontational speech with attitude tone and being resistant to almost anything
  • Not speaking to the level of the other person with use of unequal vocabulary, speed, proper tone of voice, language, or holding multiple conversations within the same conversation if they cannot understand or respond
  • Forgetting to use “please”, “thank you”, and “I am sorry”

Style your character. Use proper speech.


Look for these helpful resources on Amazon! Shop and buy…

Mind over Memes: Passive Listening, Toxic Talk, and Other Modern Language Follies
by Diana Senechal

How to Say It, Third Edition:
Choice Words, Phrases, Sentences, and Paragraphs for Every Situation

by Rosalie Maggio

30 Days to Taming Your Tongue:
What You Say (and Don’t Say) Will Improve Your Relationships

by Deborah Smith Pegues

Successful Women Speak Differently:
9 Habits That Build Confidence, Courage, and Influence

by Valorie Burton


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