Summertime Editing Test for COOL People #4!

As the summer winds down, here’s a businesslike quiz to get you in a back-to-business mindset. We’ve got a little something for everyone, including one headline, though most of these sentences do come from one especially poorly written website, which I visit whenever I’m in need of bad sentences or a good laugh (or both). You might see the same mistake presented more than once, but, then again, some of these basic mistakes are made over and over and over…it’s good to identify, recognize, and avoid them before they make it into print!

  1. The jacket also features princess seams on the side for a complimenting fit!
  2. The center has it’s own operating suite that has been accredited by the American Association of Amubulatory Heathcare.
  3. Unfortunately, due to the high volume of messages this seller receives, they are unable to respond to your specific question right now.
  4. We provide reasonably-priced, catered meals for parishioners.
  5. It’s wonderful to know that we have attributed to your success.
  6. The Board of Directors is comprised of 19 elected officers and directors and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), an ex officio member without voting privileges.
  7. The staff is committed to providing assistance and support in serving the individual member in their efforts to improve their communication and leadership skills.

These next sentences come from an inbound marketing company and its client.  The writing is so jaw-droppingly bad that at first I hesitated to include it, thinking I’d be making fun of some foreign person who speaks English as a third or even a fourth language. I admire people like that. As it turns out, the client company is in New Jersey. (No New Jersey cracks, please; my father’s family is from Short Hills.) The marketing company is in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which is practically the epicenter of smart people in America. Both these companies charge big bucks to write content. It’s amazing, that’s what it is.

Well, it’s been my observation that people who can’t spell hire companies that can’t spell, but everybody’s happy because no one knows the difference. The first three  five  eight NINE (I had to stop somewhere!) sentences are what the client company says about itself on its site, and what follows is what the marketing company says about this particular client on its site. Lemme ask you a question: would you hire these people—any of these people—to write for you?

I call this the blind leading the blind over a cliff.

  1. We have a team of trusted and experienced copywriters and bloggers behind us that enables us to do what we do – great inbound marketing.
  2. He is a passionate hobby chef, BBQ master, and known almost all Simpsons episodes by heart.
  3. It starts by educate consumers on where food comes from and how locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables can impact your life for the better.
  4. We believe by enabling sustainable businesses to market successfully, helping you promote sustainable way of life, wholesome living and healthy eating habits.
  5. It personal, informative and valuable to your prospects.
  6. Get a free 30 minutes consultation.
  7. You know, you need to create outstanding content, attract visitors to your website and convert leads into paying customers. 
  8. Simply, submit the form on the right and we will contact you to schedule a meeting right away. 
  9. Our experienced Inbound Marketing consultants will help you define smart marketing goals based on your business objectives and create a road map with you how to achieve them. 
  10. “We can launch campaigns across a variety of online properties simultaneously with HubSpot – and measure the results in real time,” Valentine says.
  11. Since partners with HubSpot, they now have increased to 20-30 leads per month from inbound marketing mainly.
  12. This enables them to offer their clients a truly business changing inbound marketing platform.
  13. Because resources were limited and a marketing budget virtually non-existent, the team cobbled together a system of about ~20 disparate tools to manage our social media, SEO reports, email marketing and blogging, e.g., HootSuite, MailChimp, Google Analytics, Raven Tools and many more.
  14. The company had created a variety of issues that were holding them back from success.
  15. This did not only impact the agency’s service offering and packaging but also how they were priced.
  16. “I live in my HubSpot portal. The mobile app allows me to keep a close eye on my client’s and our growth 24/7.
  17. The company decided to fully leverage this opportunity to completely re-invent themselves.
  18. Now, the team is crafting 2-3 strategically planned, buyer persona specific blog posts a week while building and engaging with their social media channels on a daily basis.
  19. Within the last 12 months, she has created more than 25 conversion paths and various premium content offers, such as “The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Inbound Marketing” and “The Social Media Scheduling Cheat Sheet”.
  20. Each marketing campaign included landing pages, thank you pages, call to actions, follow-up emails, promotion emails, blog posts, and social media messages.
  21. These leads will then be enrolled in targeted email marketing campaigns slowly and carefully building trust by providing helpful guidance in order to move them deeper into the sales funnel.
  22. But the send and pray approach was highly ineffective, because her prospects were not yet qualified enough for budget, need, authority and timeline or educated enough about what she was proposing to see the value of her work.
  23. The company was not only able to sign up their first three monthly inbound marketing retainers, but also received numerous website projects and short-term marketing campaigns as well.
  24. The plan for 2015 is to triple the agency’s monthly reoccurring revenue and move to 90% retainer based work by the end of the year.

And these last sentences are from other sources.

  1. What the GOP Is Calling for When They Advocate Defunding Planned Parenthood
  2. In the drop-down menu next to “Apply to”, make sure to click on “Whole Document” to apply this size to the whole document.

Major OUCH! This is from a “Senior Writer” job post at a university-affiliated, international nonprofit: Performs other related duties as equired.


Summertime Editing Test #2 with Answers!

1) Additionally, please ensure that no text or important information appear within 0.25″ of the edges of the cover (0.125″ from the trim line, and 0.125″ of bleed beyond it).

The problem with this sentence is “appear.” When two nouns are joined by “or,” they do not for a plural subject, as they do when they are joined with “and.” If the sentence read “no text and important information” then “appear” would be correct; as it is, the “or” necessitates a singular verb: “no text or important information appears.”

2) Just think, manufacturing and shipping is taken care of.

Same thing, but different. “Manufacturing and shipping” form a plural subject, and so need a plural verb, which, in this case, should be are.

3) The Senior Advocacy Center, which acts as a local voice for seniors and is comprised of about 45 attorneys, doctors, social workers who raise money to help seniors, would like to talk to Sonju but she hasn’t agreed to talk to them, Castro said.

We have an entire post devoted to the “comprise” versus “compose” issue not too long ago. To recap (the short version): you never say “comprised of” because a large thing is composed of small things, while small things comprise a large thing. For example, a jury is composed of jurors, but jurors comprise a jury.

4) Investigators have searched her cell and interviewed neighoring inmates and so far haven’t found evidence that she smoked pot in the jail.

Terrible sentence. Typo with the “neighboring” is the first problem, but then there’s the mess caused by not using commas, plus I hate that insinuating “so far.” Excuse me? Is it just a matter of time before evidence is found? Oh, no. It’s either there or not.

I’d rewrite the entire sentence like this: Investigators have searched her cell and interviewed neighboring inmates, but have found no evidence that she smoked pot in the jail.

5) The group posted a message on their Facebook page , asking for volunteers from across the U.S. to make this reunion happen, wrote ABC News.

“The group” is a collective noun and, therefore, is singular, which means you cannot use a plural pronoun.

Corrected: The group posted a message on its Facebook page , asking for volunteers from across the U.S. to make this reunion happen, wrote ABC News.

6) A law enforcement official, who was not authorized to discuss the details and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said the SUV T-boned the limo.

I have a serious problem with this sentence. Material between commas is known as “parenthetical” information: information is not necessary to the sentence and can be removed completely with no damage to the sentence’s meaning. Well, if you remove the bit about the official “who was not authorized…,” you’d have someone speaking with authority, and that changes the meaning of the sentence completely. The part about the official not being authorized to comment is integral to the meaning of the sentence, so take out those commas.

7) Paul will be designing his gourmet menu from locally-harvested foods.

Never hyphenate an —ly adverb. “Locally harvested” is correct.

8) The meal is preceded by an Art Sale, offered “Fresh off the Easel” by the internationally recognized  “Light Chasers of the Sun Coast”, Plein Air Artists, who will be painting “till the sun goes down” and selling their works, wet and dry, on the Farmhouse lawn throughout the evening.

At a minimum, put that comma after “Coast” inside the quotation marks. I’d also do a pair of dashes around “wet and dry” to set off that concept. Actually, it’s a lousy sentence and needs to be completely rewritten.

9) In case you were wondering, the owner did get their phone back.

“Owner”—singular. One owner. “Their”—plural pronoun. No can do. If you read the sentence, it’s obvious the writer knows the sex of the owner, so “he” or “she” would have been correct.

10) We can’t thank Purebred Breeder’s enough for bringing “Dudley” into our lives.

Yikes! “Breeders” is the plural of “Breeder.” The only time you use an apostrophe to create a plural is with individual letters (the M’s) or an abbreviation with periods in it (M.B.A.’s). Otherwise, it’s “s” or “es.”

11) Your book remains in-stock, without inventory, made on-demand when customers order.

Generally speaking, when a compound adjective follows the noun that it is modifying, you do not hyphenate it.

the in-stock book; the book was in stock

the on-demand book; the book was printed on demand

12) The right argues that a faculty that has teachers and principals who have carry permits and can protect the children under their car is the way to go.

Sloppy, sloppy! It’s not “car,” it’s “care.”

13) Every author wants to sell a million copies of their book, but most won’t sell more than a few thousand.

Write like that and you won’t sell one! “Every author” is singular; “their book” is plural. It has to be “his or her book,” or you could say “All authors want to sell…” and that’d be correct. As it is, BOO!

14) WHAT: Water Moccasins (Cottonmouths) – This venomous snake makes its home in the water. Though considered a shy snake, it’s bite is quite serious and sometimes deadly.

The most common punctuation/grammar mistake rears it’s, I mean its, ugly head! I always double-check my use; its, I mean it’s, such an easy mistake to make! Plus, that hyphen is wrong. I would stick a period after (Cottonmouths).

Summertime Editing Test #3!

Answers soon! Enjoy your summer!

1) As it turns out, pontificating on what lies ahead for storytelling — a past time we bookish folk engage in today with some maddening frequency — has a long history.

2) Regardless of gender, each recruit is expected to pass the initial strength test (IST) comprised of a mile-and-a-half run, flexed arm hang or pull ups, and abdominal crunches.

3) We should not expect less of someone because of their gender.

4) This person did not do their job.

5) If you do not set-up a bank account, your royalties will be paid by check in the default currency of the marketplace.

6) You can read the full Yottaa performance report here and see just how fast HubSpot website’s are.

7) You can now get access to all these performance improvements in a free 30-day trial of HubSpot’s CMS.

8) In fact, Yottaa an Internet performance company in Boston recently ran a speed-test on HubSpot and found websites hosted on HubSpot are much faster than average sites.

9) Click on “Page Layout”, and specify the amount of indentation in the “Indent” option.

10) India’s news media has been stirred by a robust over whether Yakub Memon, a Muslim in the predominantly Hindu nation, deserved to die for his role in the attacks that killed 257 people.

11) Media reports say Gonzalez confessed his crime to police though Wednesday, Santa Cruz police said they were done talking about it.

12) The key to success was establishing the firm expectation that change was both possible and necessary to improve the credibility of our female recruits- come-new-Marines.

13) For the first time in history, female recruits are competitive with their male counterparts on the rifle range, proving it is not an insult to “shoot like a girl”.

14) Until every leader demands the best from our recruits and Marines regardless of gender and the Institution truly considers the benefits of a more integrated approach to boot camp, it will continue to be an insult to “train like a girl”.

15) Here lies one of the largest challenges of social media; with access to the entire world at our fingertips, it’s much easier for us to voice a heated comment or share an inappropriate photo than it used to be.

16) People getting fired before they’ve even started, and not-too-long ago our very own Houston Rockets canned their social media manager for a controversial tweet during a heated rivalry with the Dallas Mavericks.

17) I’m not saying we should hide in the shadows from the massive umbrage brigade with their pitchforks and torches, but we need to learn to be accountable for our mistakes.

18) Things will happen, and just like Gob Bluth, we must admit when we’ve made a huge mistake.

19) The events in August are SIZZLING (like that massive marketing conference on the 27th -wink wink-) Check out all of the hottest things to do this month

20) HubSpot Partner Spotlight: Imagine Business Development
Imagine Business Development provides inbound marketing, sales development and advisory programs to create predictable, sustainable and scalable revenue growth for it’s clients.