I have some personal basic rules on correcting people. They all come back to a theme common throughout my blog: ask yourself, what does my correction offer someone?
For example, take this scene from Friends with Benefits here:
I am completely on Mila’s side: “Did you understand what I was saying? Then don’t be a dick about it.”
It’s one thing if a person is making a mistake that could cost them something, then by all means suggest a modification. For example, if you are in an academic setting and correcting someone could affect a grade or prevent him or her from looking like a fool in front of the class, then genuine correction may be offered.
It’s when the correction is so very unnecessary to the progress of life yet a person finds it necessary to interrupt in the middle of a conversation to correct something that was said – that is what I find so rude.
It is often with our friends and family that we do this the most, and it is a habit I’m trying to break myself.
If you do find yourself having to correct someone, just be sure to do it in a polite way. Don’t be haughty or condescending – you’re not better than anyone else for being privy to certain information.
My general advice is only correct when necessary to prevent someone from making a fool of his or herself, prevent them losing credibility at work or school, and always be kind about it.