There are few worse feelings than realizing you've been pronouncing a word wrong or misusing a phrase since before you can remember.

All you're left with are questions: how many people noticed and didn't say anything? Is my incorrect pronunciation of quinoa why the cashier at SweetGreen always smirks at me? Has the emphasis I was incorrectly putting on the "I" sound in cumin negatively affected my love life?

It's even worse when the linguistic faux pas happens at work. How can you be taken seriously in a professional environment if you're putting, "for all intensive purposes" in emails? How do you sleep at night knowing that your boss heard you pronounce both the L's in tortilla? To avoid more instances of this kind of inner turmoil, we've compiled a list of some of the most common language mistakes that make you sound unprofessional.

"Precede" and "Proceed"

This is a common mix up because when said out loud; these two words are difficult to distinguish from one another. If you're sending an email telling someone you'd like to go forward with the deal; you'd like to "proceed." If you are going to speak before someone in a meeting, you will "precede" them.

"One in the same" and "One and the same"

The phrase you're probably trying to use is "one and the same," as in when you and your coworker realize you've both been corresponding with the same client, and that client is "one and the same." "One in the same" isn't really a sensical phrase.

"Irregardless" and "Regardless"

All you need to remember to avoid this classic and cringey mistake is that irregardless is simply never an option. YES I KNOW it's in the dictionary, but so is YOLO. Don't listen to the dictionary.

"For all intensive purposes" vs. "For all intents and purposes"

Your purposes are likely not intense, and really what you're referring to is the intention and the purpose with which you're going forward.

"Tongue in cheek" vs. "Tongue and cheek"

Have you ever looked over at a friend during a funny situation that would be inappropriate to laugh at? You know how you kind of put your tongue in your cheek to keep from laughing? Keep that situation in mind and remember that when you mean something is sarcastic or ironic, you mean tongue in cheek.

"Doing good" vs. "Doing well"

While when you think of how you're doing, you may think of words like "stressed" or "despondent," what you probably say out loud is that you're doing "well." Never good. Well.


Brooke Ivey Johnson is a Brooklyn based writer, playwright, and human woman. To read more of her work visit her blog or follow her twitter @BrookeIJohnson.

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The Federal Reserve sets the guardrails for the federal funds rate, and through that helps control the money supply for the nation.

When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.

A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.

One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.

The Federal Reserve The Federal Reserve


The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.

This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.

The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.

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