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Real Words that Work - They’ll or there’ll: does it matter?

By Patricia Davies, President, Patricia Davies Communications
They’ll or there’ll: does it matter? 

I’m a writer, not a grammarian, and I shy away from addressing grammar problems. My instinct about proper usage serves me well but I’m not an impeccable source. When I need to, I’ll look up a fine point in Grammar for Smart People orGrammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing, both of which get a free plug because they are accessible and easy to understand. 

But enough is enough. Does nobody know that a contraction still has to make sense after you take out the letters and insert an apostrophe? Here’s the sentence, taken from a notice about a networking event that drove me to rant. 

“Imagine the leads you’ll get plus they’ll be great food and giveaways and lots of fun.”<

I blame two growing problems for the weird implication that your fellow networkers will be part of the buffet. The AutoCorrect function seems to crumble under the stress of contractions, substituting at will a word the writer didn’t intend. And many people aren’t proofreading before pressing send. Even a cursory glance would have caught this obvious error. Never give the final word on spelling or grammar to an automatic checker and always read over your words at least once. 

“Imagine the leads you’ll get, plus there will be great food, giveaways and lots of fun.”

Patricia Davies is an award-winning writer and editor, an Endorsed Education Provider (EEP) with IIBA®, and a regular panelist on the IIBA “Being a BA: Effective Communication” Webinar (first Tuesday of every month). Have you got a writing question? Please email to and we’ll try to address it in a future column or Webinar.