Ruby Receptionists is in the middle of a compliment campaign. When a member of our team receives a compliment from a client or caller, we turn that compliment into a work of art and display it in the middle of the office for all to see.  From my office, I see brilliant works of art hanging above the area where our incredibly talented (and amazingly creative) receptionists work.  Simply put, it’s really cool.  As a salute to compliments, I thought I’d write a bit about the difference between the words compliment and complement.

A compliment is a statement of praise or a friendly remark.  I’m proud to say that thanks to our dedicated team, we get a lot of those at Ruby.  To be complimentary is to praise someone or something.

A complement is something that completes or perfects another thing.  When I think of two things being complementary, I think of the balance of black and white in a yin yang or an M.C. Escher print.

Red and green are complementary colors.  Her green eyes complement her red dress perfectly.

It’s uplifting to see so many complimentary remarks around the office.  If our clients could see them, I am sure they’d compliment our receptionists on their artistic ability.

When in doubt about which word to use, remember the e factor: a complement completes something.