Oh No Typos Presents: A Posterior View

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I found this typo on a document while proofreading, so thank goodness that it didn’t get out. But can you imagine if it had? It implies the plural form of another word for donkeys, or ahem, a slang term for multiple backsides. This mistake if often made with words that have double consonants in the middle, and one gets omitted. Others are:

  • Committed
  • Harassment
  • Embarrass
  • Bookkeeper
  • Questionnaire

Can you think of more? And what mnemonic devices do you use to remember to double the consonants of these words, or similar ones? I open the floor to you.

Sean C. Wright is the author of 7 books. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–business or consumer–visit https://seanarchy.wordpress.com.

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Oh No Typos Presents: AR or ER?

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I saw this on a menu. “Tartar” is one of those words with an ending that sounds like “ER,” but is really “AR.” Some others that people confuse the “A” and “E” in:

  • Separate. The middle letter is an “A.” The way I remember is that there is A RAT in “separate.”
  • Lavender. People often end this word in “AR.” The way I remember the “E” at the end is that lavender is a flower. They both end in “ER.”
  • Category. The middle letter is an “E.” How do you remember? “Catty” sounds like “Cat-e.” You’ve just spelled the first 4 letters correctly.

Can you think of more? Also, what are some funny or appalling typos you have seen? I open the floor to you. And please feel free to see me expand on this issue in my blog post  3 REASONS PROOFREADING IS A NECESSARY POSITION

Sean C. Wright is the author of 7 books. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–business or consumer–visit https://seanarchy.wordpress.com.

SpaghettiWords

Oh No Typo: Cracking Up

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I saw this typo on a coupon, and I must say that I cackled at this error on “crackers.” I don’t know about you, but when there are errors in a company’s written messages, I think the following:

  • They are apathetic.
  • They are hasty.
  • They are sloppy.
  • Their quality is questionable, all across the board.

What are some funny or appalling typos you have seen? I open the floor to you. And please feel free to see me expand on this issue in my blog post  3 REASONS PROOFREADING IS A NECESSARY POSITION

Sean C. Wright is the author of 7 books. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–business or consumer–visit https://seanarchy.wordpress.com.

SpaghettiWords

Lady Rougepen Says…Send Malapropisms Packing

Malapropisms are incorrect versions of common phrases, such as “all intensive purposes” for “all intents and purposes.” Or “it takes two to tangle” when it should be “two to tango.”

They damage your credibility. Look up the phrases to verify which phrase is correct if you must. You owe it to yourself to not speak or write snicker-worthy sayings.

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Sean C. Wright is the author of 5 books. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–business or consumer–visit https://seanarchy.wordpress.com.

3 Reasons Proofreading Is a Necessary Position

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Turquoise Misspelling

When spell-check was invented as a word-processing feature in the 1980s, businesses subsequently laid off proofreaders. Yes, that feature catches obvious misspellings, but there are some jobs that machines cannot completely replace. Proofreading is one of them. As you can see by the pictures I posted, the proof is in the pudding. Let’s explore the reasons proofreading will never be an obsolete job:

Typos might get you sued. I listed this reason first and foremost because it’s the most crucial one: spelling errors and typos can bring you to court. True story. A live website had one letter off in a sentence, and that one letter caused the word to morph into a racial slur. The business got hate mail behind the mistake, and the media company/site creator had to refund the owner’s money for the time the accidental slur was posted. The owner talked of suing the marketing company. They profusely apologized and persuaded the owner not to take legal action. However, I’m sure the company still gets backlash over that awful mistake – and that was about ten years ago.

And we also know that sometimes dates are wrong on ads or the wording is unclear. The customer tries to redeem the offer, and the company weakly admits to it being a printing mistake. It makes for disappointed customers, and also some may go as far as threatening to sue if their demands are not met. After all, it was the company’s mistake, not theirs. Something as minute as the wrong date for a sale deadline, or a huge loophole in an offer can anger your customers, or worse, send you to court. Proofreaders do damage control for the company, and minimize these instances. They work in tandem with copywriters to ensure that the company’s marketing messages are accurate, clear, and appropriate.

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Homonyms! Homonyms are words that sound the same, but are spelled differently. You have “see/sea,” the infamous “their, there, and they’re,” and so on. They indeed are spelled correctly in many instances, so spell-check, I ain’t mad at ya (poetic license). But sometimes, copywriters use the wrong word that sounds like the word they intended to use. For example, I saw a graphics company once who advertised printed “stationary” (see below). That’s a bike that doesn’t move. They needed “stationery.” Only trained professionals – proofreaders – can weed out those embarrassing mistakes.

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It ruins the company’s image. Another true story: a cleaning service came to my house, looked around, and gave me an estimate. The manager left a brochure and her business card. I read the brochure, and mistakes leapt out at me, like startled frogs. Thus, I didn’t hire this cleaning service. Their job is paying attention to detail, and sadly, they showed me they can’t do that with their marketing material. Why would I want them missing the details in detailing my home?

It’s not just misspellings and typos for nouns that hurt a company’s image. Misspelling the customer’s name is a big turn-off too. I have discarded many direct mail solicitations without hesitation because my name was misspelled. And even though my name is traditionally male, I am female. Mail addressed to me with “Mr.” as a salutation goes in the recycle bin as well. In summation, proofreaders are not just there to ensure that material is grammatically correct. They are quality assurance people. They also note if the spacing is off, an image’s resolution isn’t the clearest, scope out incorrect dates for offers, as I mentioned before etc. It’s a negative slippery slope: A business ruins its image with sloppy communication, and sales suffer, as you can see by my anecdote.

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I listed 3 reasons that proofreading is crucial for businesses. Can you think of more? What are some of the most outrageous typos and misspellings you have seen businesses make? I open the floor to you.

Sean C. Wright is the author of 6 books. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–business or consumer–visit https://seanarchy.wordpress.com.

Shade-of-Blue Spelling Blunder

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Turquoise MisspellingPhoto courtesy of Tamara Stokes

The people who wrote this probably meant no disrespect to this stunning, aqua stone, spelling it phonetically. But in their defense, “turquoise” does sound like it should be spelled like these other words that do have a TE as the first two letters:

  • Terrible
  • Terrific
  • Terrace
  • Terrestrial

So how do you remember how to spell “turquoise” correctly, if you have no dictionary access? Easy. “Turquoise” and “turkey” both have the same two letters. Some turkeys have turquoise feathers. It’s a crazy mnemonic device, but it works.

What words are hard for you to remember how to spell? And what mnemonic devices do you use to spell them correctly? I open the floor to you.

Sean C. Wright is the author of 6 books. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–business or consumer–visit https://seanarchy.wordpress.com.