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Best Practice

Do you want to be correct or do you want to fit in?

Have you ever been faced with a choice of using correct spelling of a term or an incorrect spelling to match what is generally used by your industry or client? An example of this might be "post-merger" or "postmerger." The correct choice is "postmerger," but maybe your client routinely uses "post-merger" or industry papers/publications have used "post-merger."

We believe it's usually best to use the correct term, regardless of others' usages. But note the word "usually" in the previous sentence. If you're ghost writing for your client (consultants frequently develop presentation in their clients' templates), do you use their preferred term even if it is incorrect? This depends on how entrenched the term is in the company culture. If it is the name of a committee or someone's title, for example; then use the incorrect spelling. If it is just a personal preference of someone at the client organization, then use the correct spelling.