You’re writing a cover or thank you letter. You mention a challenge and say: “This didn’t phase me because…,” and then proceed to explain.
But wait, should you have said phase or faze?
What does it mean to not be phased?
Faze and Phase Are Homophones
Homophones are words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings. They don’t hurt you when you’re talking, but you must be hyper-aware of them when you write because spell checkers won’t catch usage errors.
Interestingly, faze and phase don’t make the list of most commonly confused homophones, but I promise you, they regularly trip up job seekers!
While some recruiters and hiring managers will forgive you for mistakes that spell checkers don’t catch, others aren’t so reasonable.
In the example above, if your reader knows the difference between faze and phase, then you’ve just used the mulligan they might or might not give you.
How People Misuse Phase and Faze
As in the example above, I usually see people write “phase” when they should have written “faze.”
Is Faze a Word?
It sure is! Here’s how the Google dictionary defines it:
To disturb or disconcert.
How to Use Faze in a Sentence
Here’s what Google tells us about phase:
A distinct period or stage in a series of events,
or a process of change or development.
How to Use Phase in a Sentence
The moon has phases:
Do You Have to Use a Homophone?
From the definitions and illustrations above, you can see these are completely different words that happen to sound the same.
Thus, be aware of homophones when you’re writing. If you’re not sure about the correct word, then punt; use a different word.
- That didn’t stop me because…
- That didn’t intimidate me because…
- I didn’t miss a beat because…
Why does it matter? Because your writing is more credible, and you make a better first impression when you use words correctly.
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Updated January 2021
© 2015 – 2021, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.
Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, authors all of AvidCareerist’s posts. She has written for and been quoted by 100+ business and general media outlets, including Forbes, Mashable, Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur, CNBC, the New York Times, USA Today, Time, CBS, the BBC, Lifehacker, Social Media Today, IT World, SmartBrief, and Business News Daily.
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