Tag Archives: typo

Perish nurse

I went back and forth about whether I should post this. I try to be respectful, and sometimes pointing out the mistakes of others is certainly not respectful. This one is almost so egregious that I would expect to see it in one of those email forwards or something.

In my bulletin at church this morning:

“There is a fact sheet about the H1N1 Flu on the information desk, put out by our perish nurse, if you are interested please take one.”

Wow. Yeah, I got a good laugh out of that one, Talking about an infectious disease, and suddenly the church has a perish nurse. I know that parish and perish sound the same, but they mean very different things. Spell check won’t catch this mistake, but it must be caught.

Unnecessary quotation marks

please open door slowly
As seen on our recent trip to Florida, on the door of Down the Hatch, a coastal restaurant on Daytona Beach.

It shouldn’t need to be said here, but I’ll say it anyway: Quotation marks do not provide emphasis. Rather, they indicate that the material contained therein is being quoted. Hence the name of the marks. For emphasis, many techniques could be effective here. Bold, italics, underline, all caps [when the whole sign isn’t in caps], asterisks around the word, larger font, different font, different color — these are just a few of the options preferable to quotation marks. While I may not *love* all of these options, they’d all be better than quotation marks.

How to spell or, word pet peeve

This website made me laugh. 🙂

It would seem that someone has such a strong aversion to definitely being misspelled that he or she created an entire, albeit simple, website dedicated to educating people about how definitely should be spelled.

My first thought: Who would spend the money and energy to set up such a site?

Regardless of that, however, some of you may find the site a useful tool when a friend seems to consistently stumble over the word.

Hope it gives you a laugh, too.

Shoddy writing, take 2

Not all printing services are created equal and outputs differ in many ways like the level of customization possible, the binding materials and methods will your file be reviewed before printing? The type of paper used, and the quality of the printing itself. (Issues like type of printing device used, its age, on going maintenances, color management process, daily calibrations, skill of the operator and more) Also differ the level of service and support you will get, the shipping method used (resulting in shipping time, tracking ability, reliability), simplicity (no need to open an account), will your product be branded with the supplier brand, and more, All of these factors will eventually translate into the quality of your output and the level of customer experience.

Ack! I don’t even know where to start, if I need to tell you what’s wrong with this paragraph. Feel free, if you’ve got some time.

Here’s the rest of that page. Digi-labs prints cards, photobooks and calendars.

I’ve written before about how a company’s lack of grammar on its website will deter customers. This is just another instance, I guess. I really don’t understand how this gets published, though. Compose the text in a word processor, then look at what’s underlined with those squiggly red and green lines and why. Heck, you’re a company. Someone on staff should be able to compose a few communicative sentences. If this isn’t the case, either hire someone, outsource content editing, or educate your current staff. I’m not asking for high literature, just straightforward, clear communication.

How shoddy writing will deter customers

Reading Solar Style‘s relatively brief FAQ page — my husband suggested one of the company’s solar cell phone/iPod chargers for his birthday gift — I was turned off on the company. Why? The page contained at least six horrible typos.

Particularly when I’m studying a company I’m not familiar with, this kind of rampant lack of attention to detail is quite off-putting. Can I trust this company with my dollars? Is its warranty reliable? Or is this just a fly-by-night operation?

I’d like to think well of this organization. It’s promoting eco-responsibility, and that’s something I value. But I also don’t want to spend a chunk of money on equipment made by a company with perhaps shoddy workmanship. After all, if Solar Style leadership doesn’t care enough about its image to ensure clean writing (one of the most immediate reflections of its integrity to potential customers), why would I be confident about the quality of the company’s product?

Even though I know my husband would appreciate a solar charger, I doubt he’ll be getting one from me at this point, from this company.

Write well — cleanly, without errors, at least — or if you can’t accomplish this alone, hire qualified help in this field. It’s essential to successful business.

Mistakes a quick read would catch

On the brief description on our most recent DVD from Netflix, the need for proofreaders and copyeditors in all realms of life reared its head.

Here’s part of what it said:

“Sydney picks up the pieces after a cliff-hanger car wreck with her fiancé,” and later, “This disc includes the following episodes: Solo, Fait Accompli, Bob, The Horizon and ‘S.O.S.”

There are clearly two problems here, which likely stem from two different sources. The first error, fiancé, probably stems from the entire text being copied and transferred, and from the program it was pasted into not being compatible with the code for the é.

The second is probably a result of simple lack of attention to detail. Both are bad errors, though.

A reputable company should not allow text to be presented to the public with errors.

It doesn’t take a well-trained editor to catch these mistakes, either. An eye with attention to detail would work. It’s common knowledge that when quotes are started, another quote mark must come later. And the messed-up code would slow-up even a quick read.

Grace triumphs over grammar policing

I’m one of those people who care about correct grammar, punctuation, spelling and usage, particularly in writing.

I’ve gone through phases concerning grammar in speech. When I first worked at a newspaper, on the copy desk, I consciously changed my speech, removing audible pauses, slang, colloquialisms, lazy language. Sometimes now, when I’m tired, I speak in near-baby talk, intentionally failing to pronounce words correctly, using plurals when they make no sense. Referencing myself in third person.

When I was in high school I used to correct my parents’ grammar whenever they made a mistake, in front of them and their peers, even. I know it bothered Dad.

I read copyblogger‘s post about “Grammatical errors that make you look dumb” today, and I agree with him. Anyone writing anything should make an effort to avoid such mistakes. Eliminating errors from a person’s communications will help his or her credibility.

Some of the people who responded to his popular post, however, act like and even refer to themselves as “grammar nazis.” This behavior — and attitude — it would seem, also can injure the perpetrator’s reputation in the marketplace.

It does not help to present oneself as mean and overbearing and a know-it-all.

In the end, both can be lived out: Write correctly and give grace when you find someone else’s mistake(s). If you must offer a correction, do it tactfully, pleasantly and out of a helpful spirit that takes into account that good ol’ Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

I may not always succeed at offering grace to others, but I have long-since stopped correcting individuals’ spoken grammar in public. I understand that I have weaknesses, too, and I don’t want them thrown in my face all the time.


Today’s Northwest Arkansas Times, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette‘s Fayetteville daily, spelled a word wrong in its top headline today. Maybe quandary is one of those words the general populace doesn’t know how to spell, and it will go largely unnoticed.

I hope not, purely for the state of language knowledge in our country. Spelling, while a small, simple part of life (although it’s a larger part of publishing), clearly impacts public perception of the offending person/institution. I used to work in the newspaper industry, and I know what it’s like to wake up, get the paper and cringe when you see the mistake. But there’s really no excuse.