Why do SO many agents misuse "advice" and "advise?"

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Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

Why do SO many agents misuse "advice" and "advise?"Grammar book

I've been wondering about that this week more than ever because I've been reading the entries in the October challenge about the very best advice for new agents.

I was just given the answer. Now I know why misuse of these words is growing by leaps and bounds. It's because agents are relying on Word to correct their mistakes.

I'm working on an agent bio and wrote: "He feels it's his duty to advise and protect…"

Word popped up to tell me "No, no, no. Change advise to advice."

Word is notorious for giving wrong advice, and after using Grammarly for a few days, I found that it also gives incorrect advice at times. Sometimes it's because the computer doesn't know what you mean. Other times – as in today's example – it's just plain goofy.

So what's an agent to do? Take the time to do the research.

When you get a message saying "Change this," don't assume that the computer is correct. Stop, look, read, and see if what it says sounds right or wrong. If you're not sure, take the time to go to Grammar Girl or some other grammar site and find out.

Just in case you aren't sure about these words:

iceAdvice is a noun. You can give advice and you can get advice.

Advise is a verb. You advise someone.

When you advise someone, you offer them your advice.

There should be some better trick to remember this, but the only one I can think of at the moment is that advice is a noun and ice is a noun. You can give someone advice and you can give someone ice.

I suppose you could ice someone… but I don't recommend it, because if you did, you'd go to jail. (And ice would have become a verb.)

But meanwhile, you can't advice someone. So… don't try.

 Grammar book Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net |Ice image courtesy of morguefile.com

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Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
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Gita Bantwal Thanks. I try to come up with hints that might be useful.

Kat Palmiotti Yes! That surprised me - I hoped to reach a million by year's end, but didn't expect it this soon.

Dorie Dillard I think it's fun to try to come up with hints that area easy to remember. I couldn't remember the spelling of a river and lake near here, the Pend Oreille, until I thought about seeing all the old "holes" from mining digs on the mountains surrounding the lake. They were searching for silver ore - and remembering that keeps me spelling "Oreille" correctly. My old spelling training wanted me to put "i before e except after c." 

Oct 25, 2015 03:38 AM #19
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
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Cindy Edwards The one that really makes me shake my head is the confusion between "our" and "are." Another sign that schools aren't teaching much is when you see a banner proclaiming things like "Root for are team!" 

Sharon Tara I love simple hints. 

Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint Yes - auto-correct can really get you messed up. So can voice recognition software. My husband chooses to "read the TV" more often than not, and some of what comes up on the screen is either totally confusing or downright silly. 

Oct 25, 2015 03:42 AM #20
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
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Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner You're right! If all bloggers were crossword puzzle addicts, there would be no problem with spelling errors. 

Oct 25, 2015 03:42 AM #21
Rainmaker
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Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com

I see people misuse chose and choose almost on a daily basis as well. It drives me nuts.

Oct 25, 2015 09:10 AM #22
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
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Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert Lose and loose is a similar pair that makes me cringe.

Oct 25, 2015 11:42 AM #23
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Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Marte Cliff you made it simple for us to remember - Advise a verb and Advice, noun.

"When you advise someone, you offer them your advice."

Oct 25, 2015 03:45 PM #24
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
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Thanks Praful Thakkar Any time I can think of a way to make the rules simpler, I like to share. 

Oct 25, 2015 03:55 PM #25
Rainmaker
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Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Hi Marte Cliff Well, I guess that is an explanation, but I choose to think it is because they never learned grammar in the first place.

But you are right, there are many word pairs that give problems, such as principle and principal.

And I can't believe that I haven't been following you. Tha t is now corrected.

Bill Roberts

Oct 26, 2015 01:42 AM #26
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
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Bill Roberts Yes, learning grammar and spelling in the first place would help. However, we all question ourselves, and when "the expert" in the computer says you're wrong and you aren't absolutely sure that you're right, then it's easy to take wrong advice. 

There really are dozens, perhaps hundreds, of word pairs that give people trouble. It annoys me that teachers don't know proper grammar and that they don't insist that students use it in every class - not just English. 

A sure sign that education is in trouble: Not too long ago one of our 4th grade teachers wrote a letter to the editor in which she said "When myself and my friends were standing in the rain ..."

Oct 26, 2015 02:58 AM #27
Rainmaker
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Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Marte Cliff Thank you for following me. You make a good case for home schooling. These young kids that go into education and don't know anything themselves scares me. My interest is economics,not grammar, but the same thing applies there. We all are subject to the laws of economics but few of us really know anything.

Bill Roberts

Oct 26, 2015 03:49 AM #28
Rainmaker
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John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate

Reading the sentence aloud is another way to tell if we're using the correct word. One has an 'S' sound, the other a 'Z' sound, and if it doesn't sound right a switch is probably needed.

Oct 26, 2015 04:44 AM #29
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
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Bill Roberts You're right, schools teach nothing about economics. I took a class in college that was so poorly presented that I got lost the first week - and I'm good at math. I got through the course with a C, but felt like I hadn't learned anything.

Meanwhile, high school math (or perhaps sooner) should include teaching how to manage a checkbook and how to balance bank and credit card statements - and should stress the impact of compound interest. 

If more young people understood things like the importance of job creation and how many private sector employees it takes to pay one government worker (or welfare recipient) I think we'd see a major attitude shift. 

Oct 26, 2015 05:45 AM #30
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
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Bill Roberts I forgot to say - I'm a big fan of home schooling. I took my kids home in 2nd grade and kept them there until high school. The public school is a frustrating place for kids who know how to read, write, and use numbers.

 

Oct 26, 2015 05:49 AM #31
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
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John Novak Yes, and reading aloud also helps you catch missing words, doubled words, and awkward phrases. 

Oct 26, 2015 05:50 AM #32
Rainmaker
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Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

It's unfortunately not just an agent's disease, Marte Cliff.  I see it with Lenders, title companies, appraisers, and more.  Spelling and bad grammar need you!!  Keep preachin' ...

Gene

 

Oct 26, 2015 07:36 AM #33
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
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Gene Mundt, Chicago-area Mortgage Lender - www.genemundt.com And, very unfortunately, our local newspaper. It drives me nuts when the editor writes a column and says someone "should of" done something. 

Oct 26, 2015 09:21 AM #34
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

It's clearly not just an real estate agent problem but an issue of general use. But who knew that Word, or auto-correct on the iPhone, could be at fault. No doubt there are other offenders

Oct 27, 2015 01:40 PM #35
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
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Jeff Dowler CRS It makes you wonder about the people who are paid to program those devices. 

Oct 27, 2015 04:17 PM #36
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Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Great read, Marte Cliff !!! I always read my post one more time before publishing... and still, on occasion, spell check changes things and I have to go back to the post and correct it one last time... I use Google Docs now and have found it isn't quite so opinionated about my grammar and spelling. Hopefully that's a good thing ;O) and it doesn't 'ice' me.

Oct 28, 2015 02:49 AM #37
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
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Rene Fabre I know just what you mean. I can read and re-read, then catch a mistake right after I've hit publish. Or - I don't catch it and some kind soul writes to tell me. My biggest stumbling block is forgetting to double-check the title. 

Oct 28, 2015 03:01 AM #38
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