Whoops! FELL and FAIL are not interchangeble.

A participant in one of my workshops this week handed me a “usage blooper” I had not seen before.  It appears in an employee benefits plan manual and is worded this way:

 “If you fell to provide proper documentation of a claim within the time limit you will be required to reimburse the plan for the undocumented claim (overpayment).”

Whoops!  With some accents, I suppose the word FELL sounds like the word FAIL, but that is no excuse for using it incorrectly in writing.  This sentence should read as follows:

 “If you fail to provide proper documentation of a claim within the time limit,  you will be required to reimburse the plan for the undocumented claim (overpayment).”

BONUS POINT: Please notice that I also added a comma after the word LIMIT.  The “If” clause that begins this sentence is 14 words long.  The comma lets the reader know that the subject of the main part of the sentence is YOU–14 words into the sentence.


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5 Responses to “Whoops! FELL and FAIL are not interchangeble.”

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