Punctuation error on application...

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LukeyB
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Punctuation error on application...

Post by LukeyB » Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:27 pm

Hi to all,

Following submission of my application for the clinical doctorate this year, it has been pointed out to me by a colleague that I have made 2 punctuation errors within the main personal statement section.

Thinking I was correct in my interpretation of when 'clients' requires an apostrophe, twice when I referred to clients within the text, I added an apostrophe and used 'client's' instead; believing the remainder of the sentence to continue with a singular possessive. However, I have been told this is not the case, which I accept.

My supervisors have tried to reassure me in saying that they feel the use of the apostrophe could be argued either way. However, knowing that the forms are supposed to be flawless (in this case regards grammar and punctuation), I was wondering if others felt I should consider this a serious error. Obviously I hope that it is not, however knowing that the mistake is there is causing me concern; particularly when I think I have written a well-rounded form besides.

I also understand that this whole query depends on who looks at the form, and whether my application is good enough for this not to have an affect.

Any thoughts would be welcomed!

Luke

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BlueCat
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Re: Punctuation error on application...

Post by BlueCat » Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:53 pm

If you're in a tie breaker situation with another candidate for the very last interview or very last reserve spot, it might come back to bite you on the bum, but other that that I doubt it will have much impact. IT also depends on which courses you have applied to - an increasing number don't look at the personal statement part, and with the others, it has varying levels of impact on your application. Don't worry too much, it is what it is, it is done, and there's nothing you can do to change it now.
There's no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes. Billy Connolly.

han10
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Re: Punctuation error on application...

Post by han10 » Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:54 am

If it helps, I submitted my application form with a spelling mistake - even after myself and so many other people proof read it to death. I was mortified. But it didn't stop me getting two interviews and then a place. As blue cat says it is unlikely to be the absolute deciding factor.

And as there is no option in changing it now please don't let it become a massive thing for you. I hope you can find a way to sit with the discomfort - it will change, it will pass.

good luck,

Hannah

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boundless
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Re: Punctuation error on application...

Post by boundless » Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:11 pm

I also noticed a spelling mistake in mine approximately 30 seconds after submitting, even after proof reading it a million times! Don't worry too much about it. It's probably quite common :)

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BenJMan
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Re: Punctuation error on application...

Post by BenJMan » Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:00 am

This is why my advice to people is always to hit the submit button and never ever look at it again !
I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people ~ Maya Angelou.

Nat89
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Re: Punctuation error on application...

Post by Nat89 » Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:12 pm

I had two spelling mistakes and a typo in mine...and now I'm on training. Don't stress too much :)

astra
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Re: Punctuation error on application...

Post by astra » Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:12 pm

When I shortlist I first scan them for correct use of apostrophes, then commas and semicolons, then spelling in general, then if there's time, I check they have the right experience, and finally how they describe their experience!

Only joking, I think the incorrect use of an apostrophe, although hugely upsetting to me, won't be the deciding factor...unless I'm having a bad day!

I'm working on my over-sensitivity to grammar and punctuation errors.
From the point of view of mindfulness, as long as you're breathing there's more right with you than wrong with you. Jon Kabat-Zinn

JBoulton
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Re: Punctuation error on application...

Post by JBoulton » Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:37 pm

I know of an application that intentionally used obviously incorrect grammar in order to conserve characters, that went on to get an interview and a place.

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miriam
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Re: Punctuation error on application...

Post by miriam » Sat Dec 12, 2015 3:17 am

It won't make much difference and worrying about it after the fact is pointless anyway.

But, taking this away from you as an individual, or applications - why can't graduates use apostrophes correctly? It is a very simple rule that everybody should be able to follow properly. And there are loads of pages on the internet explaining it, if you didn't learn it in school (in fact, there are so many I could link every word in this entire post to a different source).

If something is being owned by something else, then it gets an apostrophe, otherwise it doesn't. Plurals never get an apostrophe before the s. If they own something, it goes after the s. If they don't own something they don't have an apostrophe. The only other use of an apostrophe is to replace missing letters.

So:
- the cat's pajamas (one cat, owns pajamas)
- the cats' pajamas (more than one cat, own pajamas)
- the cats walked down the alley (more than one cat, nothing was owned by them)
- he didn't care (did not -> didn't loses a letter, replaced by apostrophe)
- the clients in the group (plural, no apostrophe)
- the client's presentation (singular, the presentation belonged to the client, apostrophe)
- our clients' feedback (plural, the feedback belonged to several clients, apostrophe after s)
- a girls' night out (plural, the night out belonged to the girls)
- the children's laughter (children is a plural word already, so the s is possessive not plural)
- James' toys (singular, but ends in s, so apostrophe comes after s, acceptable also to write the spoken version: James's)
- Fred and John's paper (two individuals, so you show possession after the second name, neither name is plural)

The only ambiguous cases are:
- time periods (eg a day's rest - this is singular and possessive, as time periods are considered as if the rest belonged to the day)
- its vs it's - no apostrophe is used for the third person possessive, the apostrophe is only used for abbreviating it is. The third person possessive doesn't get an apostrophe as it is directly substitutable for his or her (think of me grooming my cat: I brushed her hair, I brushed his hair, I brushed its hair) and none of those get apostrophes. Neither do hers, yours, whose
- plurals of acronyms (eg CD's) this is an acceptable usage even though it is a plural, because it is an acronym
- plurals when discussing words (eg "that is the rule, no if's or but's" because we are not telling the person not to use the word ifs or the word buts) or letters ("the a's in the notes looked like e's so they were hard to decipher")
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com

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Mush
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Re: Punctuation error on application...

Post by Mush » Sat Dec 12, 2015 4:46 am

Look in all honesty I think its highly dependant on the person who is reviewing the application.

I was looking over my application recently and discovered and number of typos; even though I had about 3 people proof read it. I had typos and I was offered and interview and then received a place.

"If you don’t have a problem… then don’t worry.
If you have a problem, but you can’t do something about it….then don’t worry.
If you have a problem and you can do something about it …then don’t worry."

Alexander
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Re: Punctuation error on application...

Post by Alexander » Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:58 pm

Plural initialisms and acronyms do not use an apostrophe. The correct use is "I own many CDs," or "Parliament comprises 650 elected MPs." Source. Everything else Miriam said was correct.

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miriam
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Re: Punctuation error on application...

Post by miriam » Fri Feb 26, 2016 3:03 pm

Alexander wrote:Plural initialisms and acronyms do not use an apostrophe. The correct use is "I own many CDs," or "Parliament comprises 650 elected MPs." Source. Everything else Miriam said was correct.
I love the way you pronounce an absolute fact from a single source, when discussing a complex issue that has changed over time, and where I had stated there was ambiguity. The OED used to say either was an acceptable form, but there has generally been a reduction and simplification of punctuation over time, and now the non-apostrophe version is preferred by more sources. However, I linked to about 10 different sources in my post, and there still isn't consistency about it.
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com

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CatFace
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Re: Punctuation error on application...

Post by CatFace » Fri Feb 26, 2016 3:46 pm

Chiming in with what others have said - I am qualified and I had two spelling mistakes and a punctuation mistake on my application.

I was about to write something about how it really shouldn't matter and then I remembered how cross I get when people spell Salomons as "Solomons" :roll: Nonetheless, I hope it wouldn't dissuade me as a selector if the application had some solid experience and reflection.

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