11 grammatical mistakes that instantly reveal people’s ignorance

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boss, meeting, work, employee

All it takes is a single tweet or text for some people to reveal their poor grasp of the English language.

Homophones — words that sound alike but are spelled differently — can be particularly pesky.

Regardless, you should never choose incorrectly in these nine situations:

1. ‘Your’ vs. ‘You’re’

“Your” is a possessive pronoun, while “you’re” is a contraction of “you are.”

Example 1: You’re pretty. 

Example 2: Give me some of your whiskey.

2. ‘It’s’ vs. ‘Its’

Normally, an apostrophe symbolizes possession, as in, “I took the dog’s bone.” But because apostrophes also replace omitted letters — as in “don’t” — the “it’s” vs. “its” decision gets complicated. 

Use “its” as the possessive pronoun and “it’s” for the shortened version of “it is.”

Example 1: The dog chewed on its bone.

Example 2: It’s raining.

3. ‘Then’ vs. ‘Than’

“Then” conveys time, while “than” is used for comparison. 

Example 1: We left the party and then went home.

Example 2: We would rather go home than stay at the party.

4. ‘There’ vs. ‘They’re’ vs. ‘Their’

“There” is a location. “Their” is a possessive pronoun. And “they’re” is a contraction of “they are.”

Use them wisely. 

5. ‘We’re’ vs. ‘Were’

“We’re” is a contraction of “we are” and “were” is the past tense of “are.”

6. ‘Affect’ vs. ‘Effect’

“Affect” is a verb and “effect” is a noun.

There are, however, rare exceptions. For example, someone can “effect change” and “affect” can be a psychological symptom. 

Example: How did that affect you? 

Example: What effect did that have on you?

7. ‘Two’ vs. ‘Too’ vs. ‘To’

“Two” is a number. 

“To” is a preposition. It’s used to express motion, although often not literally, toward a person, place, or thing.

And “too” is a synonym for “also.”

8. ‘Into’ vs. ‘In To’

“Into” is a preposition that indicates movement or transformation, while “in to,” as two separate words, does not.

Example: We drove the car into the lake. 

Example: I turned my test in to the teacher. 

In the latter example, if you wrote “into,” you’re implying you literally changed your test into your teacher.

9. ‘Alot’

“Alot” isn’t a word. This phrase is always two separate words: a lot.

10. ‘Who’ vs. ‘Whom’

Use who to refer to the subject of a sentence and whom to refer to the object of the verb or preposition. Shortcut: Remember that who does it to whom.

Example: Who ate my sandwich?

Example: Whom should I ask?

11. ‘Whose’ vs. ‘Who’s’

Use “whose” to assign ownership to someone and “who’s” as the contraction of “who is.”

Example: Whose backpack is on that table?

Example: Who’s going to the movies tonight?

Christina Sterbenz contributed to a previous version of this story.

SEE ALSO: The 10 best MBA programs you can finish while keeping your day job

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May 29, 2017 at 11:57PM

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from Abby Jackson

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Unsustainability of Sustainability: Cognitive Frames and Tensions in Bottom of the Pyramid Projects

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Abstract

Existing research posits that decision makers use specific cognitive frames to manage tensions in sustainability. However, we know less about how the cognitive frames of individuals at different levels in organization interact and what these interactions imply for managing sustainability tensions, such as in Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) projects. To address this omission, we ask do organizational and project leaders differ in their understanding of tensions in a BOP project, and if so, how? We answer this question by drawing on a 5-year study of a BOP project of a global pharmaceutical company in India. In line with the existing research, we found three kinds of frames—paradoxical, business case, and business—held differently across organizational levels and over time. We also found that the shift in frames of both project and organizational leaders was mediated by the decision-making horizon. The initial divergence across organizational levels, seen in paradoxical and business frames, was mediated by long-term decision-making horizon. However, there was an eventual convergence toward business frames associated with the shift from long- to shorter-term decision-making horizons and one that led to the project’s closure. We contribute by proposing a dynamic model of cognitive frames in sustainability, where the research has either alluded to top-down or bottom-up understanding.

May 29, 2017 at 11:29PM

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One chart shows how many millionaires and billionaires graduated from Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and 17 other top colleges

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Society seems to be obsessed with rich people. We seek their advice, study their habits, and replicate their wealth-building strategies.

But the richest of the rich have more in common than a risk-taking attitude and an early morning routine.

Wealth-X, a firm that does research and valuations on ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals, recently revealed where the world’s wealthiest people — those with assets exceeding $30 million — went to college.

Counting alumni with both undergraduate and graduate degrees and leaving out those with diplomas, certificates, honorary degrees, and drop outs, Wealth-X determined which alma maters the world’s richest people share.

Harvard University is the former stomping ground to 1,906 millionaires and billionaires, which together command a net worth of $811 billion, more than twice that of the No. 2 school, University of Pennsylvania.

All together, five colleges with the richest alumni are public universities, six are Ivy League, and only one is located outside of the US. Though a degree from one of these schools won’t guarantee wealth, the odds may be in your favor if history is any indication. 

Check out the schools with the most millionaire and billionaire alumni in the chart below:

BI Graphics_Colleges with richest alumni

 A few more insights from the Wealth-X report:

  • Stanford UHNW alumni have the highest average net worth of $263 million
  • Harvard has the most living billionaire alumni with 131 — a combined fortune of $528 billion
  • The majority of UHNW alumni are men, ranging from 88% at Boston University to 96% at MIT and University of Notre Dame
  • The majority of UHNW alumni are self-made, with the highest percentage (83%) coming from University of Virginia

SEE ALSO: These 10 American colleges have minted almost 400 billionaires

DON’T MISS: The 20 colleges that have created the most millionaires and billionaires

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May 29, 2017 at 11:24PM

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from Tanza Loudenback and Skye Gould

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Managing Corporate Sustainability with a Paradoxical Lens: Lessons from Strategic Agility

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Abstract

Corporate sustainability introduces multiple tensions or paradoxes into organisations which defy traditional approaches such as trading-off contrasting options. We examine an alternative approach: to manage corporate sustainability with a paradoxical lens where contradictory elements are managed concurrently. Drawing on paradox theory, we focus on two specific pathways: to the organisation-wide acceptance of paradox and to paradoxical resolution. Introducing the concept of strategic agility, we argue that strategically agile organisations are better placed to navigate these paradox pathways. Strategic agility comprises three organisational meta-capabilities: strategic sensitivity, collective commitment, and resource fluidity. We propose that strategically agile organisations draw on strategic sensitivity and collective commitment to achieve organisation-wide acceptance of paradox, and collective commitment and resource fluidity to achieve paradoxical resolution. For each of these meta-capabilities, we identify three organisational practices and processes specifically related to corporate sustainability that organisations can leverage in pursuit of strategic agility. We offer a conceptual framework depicting the strategic agility meta-capabilities, and associated practices and processes, which organisations draw on to successfully manage corporate sustainability with a paradoxical lens.

May 29, 2017 at 11:29PM

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Why valedictorians rarely become rich and famous — and the average millionaire’s college GPA is 2.9

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graduation

If you opened this article thinking you’d find evidence of why students who graduate at the top of their high-school class go onto become lazy bums, well, you won’t find it.

A Boston University researcher who followed valedictorians and salutatorians into adulthood found that most did in fact achieve the traditional markers of success. Nearly everyone graduated from college, where their average GPA was 3.6; the majority went on to earn a graduate degree; and nearly half landed in top-tier professional jobs.

So far, so expected.

“But how many of these number one high-school performers go on to change the world, run the world, or impress the world? The answer seems to be clear: zero.”

The above is a quotation from Eric Barker’s new book, “Barking Up the Wrong Tree,” where he cites the Boston University research.

Barker’s point is that while top students generally go on to be successful, few of them go on to achieve the kind of wild success most of us dream of.

Instead, kids who struggle with, or don’t particularly enjoy, formal education are more likely to get there. In fact, a study of 700 American millionaires found that their average GPA was just 2.9.

There are two potential reasons for this phenomenon, Barker writes:

1. “Schools reward students who consistently do what they are told” — and life rewards people who shake things up.

Karen Arnold, the Boston University researcher, told Barker: “Essentially, we are rewarding conformity and the willingness to go along with the system.”

In other words, the valedictorians found out exactly what the teachers wanted and delivered it consistently.

But if you think about the world’s most influential thinkers and leaders, most came up with an out-of-the-box solution to some political or scientific issue. Going along with what was already working moderately well never made anyone famous.

When he visited the Business Insider office in May, Barker explained: “In school, rules are very clear. In life, rules are not so clear. So a certain amount of not playing by the rules is advantageous once you get out of a closed system like education.”

Man Studying2. “Schools reward being a generalist” and the real world rewards passion and expertise.

Barker explains that, even if you’re fascinated by history in high school, you can’t spend all your time studying the European Renaissance. At some point, you’ve got to stop and move onto your math homework.

But once you’re in the working world, you’ll need to excel in a particular domain — and other knowledge or skills won’t matter so much.

And here’s the real shocker: Arnold found that intellectual students who genuinely enjoy learning tend to struggle in high school. They find the education system “stifling” because it doesn’t allow them to pursue their passions deeply.

Barker summed up all the research nicely in the interview with Business Insider: “Valedictorians often go on to be the people who support the system — they become a part of the system — but they don’t change the system or overthrow the system.”

None of this is to say, of course, that if you were your high-school valedictorian, you’ll never achieve big-time success. You might very well.

But you’ll have to keep in mind that playing by the rules won’t get you as far as it once did. Taking risks and going against the grain — “sticking it to the man,” if you will — is harder to do, but it’ll get you farther.

SEE ALSO: Ask yourself 4 questions to figure out if you’re successful

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NOW WATCH: A Stanford neuroscientist reveals something ‘puzzling’ in people who are extremely successful

May 29, 2017 at 10:40PM

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from Shana Lebowitz

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