Because I’m a business writer, whenever I read (online, offline, wherever), I’m always proofreading. I receive many local email announcements/invitations, and I’m somewhat disturbed by common typographical errors, regenerating like fruit flies that don’t know the high school biology experiment ended years ago. This post is not meant to offend or point my schoolmarm ruler at any one specific business friend in southern New Jersey…
My aim today is to prevent you from allowing these boo boos to appear in a future web (or print) missive ever again. If you foresee this will cause you any mental anguish, just bookmark the post. Then, ensure whoever is responsible for keying in your next email blast or networking invitation reads this before clicking “Send”:
If You Can’t Spell It, Say Appetizers, or Finger Food, or…: More than likely, if you attend a local networking event designated as a “Happy Hour,” food will be available. This type of food usually occupies a small space on a small plate. Sadly, the phrase most commonly used to proclaim its availability is butchered more often than prime cuts at a busy supermarket’s meat department. These mini-meals are known as hors d’oeuvres, but if you can’t be bothered to check the dictionary, CALL THEM SOMETHING ELSE! As the French would say, “Ne pas embarrasser vous-meme.”
That Thing With 12 Months and the Days Is a…: If you want me to save the date and mark something down so I remember to attend, I can do so, no problem. All I ask is that you correctly spell this word used by business people almost every day. Here’s an admittedly silly device to help you remember: “Cal, Len, DAR she blows!” (calendar). If I catch you sending me an email with the word spelled as “calender,” you’ll most certainly get a reply. It won’t be pretty, I promise.
Whether It’s a Special One or Not, It’s Still an…: Perhaps your nonprofit organization or professional association is hosting a very special fundraiser or event that’s been planned for months. The invitations, lovingly printed and collated, were already mailed, but you know it’s important that you remind your invitees to RSVP. Don’t risk the chance that you dissuade potential donors or members from attending because you poke them by email blast to join you for a very special occassion (or ocassion). You’ll just have to memorize this one or bookmark a good online dictionary – it’s occasion!
What typographical errors have you noticed in recent email blasts or networking e-invitations that make you want to pick up the phone and reprimand someone? If you’ve ever corrected someone’s bad spelling or misused word, were they appreciative, or did they ask you to refrain from offering any future proofreading love? If ever you find a typo in one of my blog posts, please do let me know!
Lori Shapiro is the owner of By All Writes LLC, a business writing, editing, and research company. She revels in shielding her clients from the pain of writing their own print and web marketing copy. Call her (856-810-9764) or email her (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a no-obligation project quote today!