It’s true I do make fun of some of the writing that I see. Yup, I plead guilty. But I only make fun of writing (and post it here) when the author is someone who should know better. Generally speaking, what I post here is basic stuff; you know, stuff that we all should know. If you claim to be an internationally known speaker, if you claim to be an editor, if you claim to be a web developer, then, frankly, your writing is fair game. Hardly anything irks me more than people who brag about their writing prowess (and who, in the same breath, want you to spend big bucks on their book or on their system) but can’t punctuate worth a damn.
If you know your stuff, you have nothing to fear from me. If you don’t, then I hope you find this helpful. Writing is a serious business; if you don’t know what you’re doing, then learn it or leave. I just hate sloppy people. Sloppy people give me a pain.
1. Yay! You’re now following Tiffany & Co. amethyst in your eBay Feed. You will receive email alerts for new listings.
Dont send me e-mail alerts. [Thanks to eBay for this gem.]
Multiple problems with these sentences. First, let’s all be consistent: don’t write “email” in one sentence and “e-mail” in the next. And, of course, “don’t” is misspelled.
2. Presentation beings at 8:30 pm!
Well, I couldn’t have asked for a better sentence to illustrate the importance of reviewing your writing prior to publishing. Obviously, “beings” should have been “begin.” Also, use PM or p.m., but never pm.
3. It has been speculated that instead of a shoeshine boy, the man stood at a a pump.
Wash your stuff through Word, everyone. It won’t catch everything—in fact, it won’t catch a lot—but Word will catch some real insidious mistakes, like, ahem, repeated words.
4. Anyway, here’s my answers to your most common questions.
Brother! “Here is” my answers? Really?
5. Through their proven systems for success, he and his team of certified coaches will work with any individual or organization to help them achieve their goals faster than they can ever imagine.
As a reminder, the 2 bonuses included are:
• BONUS #1: The Epic Book Launch Training System: ($597- -yours free)
Write, Publish, & Market Your Book
Secure the #1 Best-Seller Spot
Solidfy Yourself as an Authority
This is what you call a hot mess.
First, when you have two things that are connected by “or,” your verb and pronoun follow the last thing. If it’s singular, you go with singular verbs and pronouns; if plural, then plural nouns and pronouns. So here we have “individual or organization,” both of which are singular, so we have three incorrect pronouns, one after another after another.
Second, the style I’d suggest that everyone embrace is to spell out numbers from one to ten, and then use numerals thereafter.
Third, I hate those two hyphens sitting there, trying to masquerade as a dash. No, no.
Fourth, I do not approve of that ampersand. Not here. Not at all. Fifth, all is forgiven because of the hearty laugh I got in the “Authority” line. It’s impossible to be an “Authority” when you can’t spell “Solidify.” These people sent me this email, with the exact same spelling mistake, four times. And he wants me to spend money with him? Huh.
6. • BONUS #2: The Effective Communication Digital Training Kit: ($177- -yours free)
4 digital videos (more than 2 hours of video content)
2 MP3s (more than 2 hours of audio content)
1 206 page Ebook
1 12-page PDF Report
Again, a messy use of numbers and inconsistent use of hyphens. You’ve got those nasty double hyphens again and you should have a 206-page book. I think, but I’m not sure, that there were some e-book spellings, but I’d have to go back and check, and I’m not going back to that awful writing, ever again!
7. The Art Nouveau period was famous for it’s flowing organic designs, flowing ladies, flowing floral designs, regal designs.
Ah, the old “it’s” versus “its” mistake. Wow, how often do you see that?
8. These have been strategically chosen because they’re the perfect compliment for any successful speaker.
No, no, no. It’s complement, not compliment.
9. Please complete the form below to request for XYZ to be apart of your event.
What a difference a space makes! It’s a part, not apart. Totally different. Plus, I wouldn’t have said “to request for.” That is ugly. “To request that XYZ” would have been much better.
10. It wasn’t phenomenal skill that allowed XYZ to alter the course of his life. It’s was his Phenomenal Will!
11. If you haven’t already submitted your dues for July 1, 2015-June 30,2016, you may due so online.
Love those homonyms! Plus, there’s a missing space between the comma after 30 and the year.
12. The second recognized out chapter for reaching the highest per capita amount in the entire Florida Region.
You just have to review your work! A quick review would have (probably) caught the “out” for “our.”
13. When the clock strikes midnight tonight, you’ve lost the opportunity to get my step-by-step system behind success as a highly-paid professional speaker.
Do. Not. Hyphenate. An. –LY. Adverb. Never. Oh, hell, I missed the “opportunity”! I’ll never forgive myself.
14. Punctuation is the art of clarifying how a group of words falls together into contractions, clauses, and sentences. Unfortunately, it is not at all clear how some punctuation marks should be used!
As the kids say: WTF. I really don’t understand the first sentence, but I can tell you that the second sentence is a poster child for how not to use an exclamation point!
15. Rather than call out corruption and reassert the primacy of academic values, university presidents duck responsibility and cravenly feed the nation’s basketball “addiction”.
In American English, punctuation marks are always placed outside periods and commas. There are no exceptions. Since Britain is not known for its basketball, I’d say this was written by an American writer, for American readers, and so is incorrect.
16. BloqUV products block 98 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays. And their fabrics guarantee a minimum Ultraviolet Protection Factor of 50.
A company is an it. The company’s products are its products.
17. Walking on a sandy beach is so relaxing that it leads most people to walk further distances than they normally would.
People can’t walk “further distances.” People can walk “further” than they normally would, and they can walk “longer” distances, but they can’t walk “further distances.”
18. Gain confidence and clarity to melt fat quickly, easily and effectively from the scientifically-proven strategies of our 30+ world-renowned experts!
This sentence breaks the “never hyphenate an –ly adverb” rule, and I sure wouldn’t have used an exclamation point there.
19. It’s only about 3 minutes long, but it’s well-worth your time to watch.
No hyphen with well worth: it’s well worth your time to watch.