Word usage doesn’t matter much if your audience doesn’t know or care about proper English.
But if you’re a professional communicator, or you’re trying to impress a group of people you don’t know well, it matters a lot.
So avoid replicating the following example. It may strike you as a dandy shortcut, but it is a glaring instance of shoddy language:
“That’s right,” Jim smiled.
What’s wrong with it? It squeezes the words and the smile into one, and in the English language, they are separate. This would be correct:
“That’s right,” Jim said with a smile.
It’s a small thing, but it can make a big difference to your audience.
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