And THIS is EXCELLENCE?

At some point in life, you come to a fork in the road: Do I want to go along with the crowd or do I not give a rip. My fork has been reached, and I’ve chosen the latter path. I’m sick and tired of sloppy writing. There. I’ve said it. I’m beyond sick and tired of sloppy people, people who embrace to “done is better than perfect” mantra.
But what I really hate is an organization that refuses to acknowledge that a) good writing is essential to professionalism, and b) its members don’t know how to write. The lost opportunity to raise our standards, to educate our members, is inexcusable.
So boo to the National Speakers Association for the nasty sentence below. Boo to Business Network International, for not insisting its networking manuals at least spell “success” correctly and for not tossing out copies of the Misner book that spells “have” as “havre” in its Foreword. (You know the book, the one that’s given out to every new member.) And boo to Toastmasters International for not recognizing that once you leave the safe confines of the mother ship, the editorial standards of district-division-club plummet to an eighth-grade level (if that).
Yes, it’s true we should have all learned our basic punctuation and grammar in grade school. Yes, it’s true. But we didn’t, and it’s past time to acknowledge it, and it’s way past time to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
#Influence18 will demystify technology and invite attendees to have hands-on experiences that highlight best practices and new techniques. Content, community and connection will be weaved into every day.
Weave. The verb weave has two meanings. The first meaning, an intransitive verb, pertains to thread, fabric, pattern; the past tense of this meaning is wove and woven. The second meaning, a transitive verb, is to dodge, to zigzag, to twist and turn—generally to avoid a barrier or obstructions; the past tense is weaved.
You wanted woven: Content, community and connection will be woven into every day.
And, as an editorial aside, I would have said “each day.”

No tolerance, with answers!

 

1. After sharing this philosophy and system in the International Bestseller (7L) The Seven Levels of Communication: Go from Relationships to Referrals, Michael with no plans for speaking, coaching, or training was instantly inundated with requests to teach the system.

Well, I suppose I’d stick a pair of dashes around the “with no plans” bit, and capitalizing “international bestseller” makes me laugh, but damn, this is some awful writing.

2. I usually edit things as I read them, as a habit. I guess its from years of teaching at the University level.

Tell me another. You can’t edit for shit. It’s it’s, ya moron, and “university” is lowercase.

3. I plan to retire in Aquia Harbor, Virginia someday!

Really? How nice. Stick a comma after “Virginia.”

4. Once the corporate identity has been created your logo is only as good as it’s implementation – stationery, letter head, business cards, packaging and/or advertising campaign—needs to be well thought out and properly executed to create brand awareness (and increased sales).

Profanity is the only thing that comes to mind here. It’s its, ya moron; you used a hyphen when you need a dash; and this guy is in Manhattan, where I thought there were only smart people.

5. Collateral material (brochures, catalogs, press releases, annual reports, direct mail packages, etc.) helps strengthen a company’s presentation and makes a powerful impression to current and prospective clients, it enhances the image and personality of your business.

Nasty run-on sentence, sure enough. “Powerful impression” my…eye.

6. Collateral material is a business’s direct communication with their customers: these materials announce new products, special sales or reinforce brand awareness.

Since when is “a business” a plural noun? If it ain’t a plural noun, you can’t use a plural pronoun, fella! Sloppy!

7. Because of our expertise in a variety of disciplines, we are successful in coordinating a company’s visual identity with it’s marketing.

You know, that it’s versus its thing is a biggie, and I will say that these people were remarkably and consistently WRONG.

8. A web site is a powerful tool to enhance your company’s identity and presence, but it only works if it is current.

These people haven’t gotten the message that “website” is now one word. You’d think that would have trickled down to Manhattan!

9. LightSpeed VT is the next generation of on-demand interactive video-based training platforms for speakers, trainers and subject matter experts. They are a full-service agency that can customize, train, track, market, monitor, evaluate and build relationships to compliment your business.

Christ on a sidecar. I hate these sloppy people who have the audacity to market to a group that I happen to belong to, but I suppose they assume that just because my group doesn’t seem to care about correct writing that no one notices the MISSPELLED WORD in this advertising, not to mention the noun-pronoun mistake: since when is a company a “they”?? “Subject matter experts” is bullshit. Plus, it seems this company has never heard of the coordinate adjective rule. No excuse for this.

10. We will create the design, fill it with great content, manage your email lists and send it out for you.

Gee, this is one confusing sentence, but “it” hearkens back to “lists,” and that’s plainly a mistake.

11. Are you consistently and effectively reaching out to your customers, prospects and referral sources right where they hang out everyday?

One nasty sentence. How can you expect to be taken seriously if you write like this? The phrase “reaching out” makes me want to puke, ditto “hang out,” and do ya think they mean “every day”?

12. Jeanne’s other passions include her two beautiful girls, her puppies, her British, rugby-loving hubby, competitive volleyball, Phineas and Ferb, the Chicago White Sox, a good Cabernet Savignon, spicy curry, traveling around the world and hanging out with close friends.

Yeah, well, Jeanne needs to learn to write! When you have a sludgy list like this—and it is sludgy, ain’t it?—and one item has its own comma, then by gosh and by golly you need to separate your items with semicolons, not commas. And what’s up with misspelling “Sauvignon,” anyway? Even I know that!

13. Social media marketing channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogging are tremendous resources but each has it’s own unique setup, implementation and communication style.

It’s those Manhattan people, again. They are consistent! (Consistently wrong!)

14. Our team of professionals are available to speak at your next conference or company workshop.

Oh, I’ll just run right out and book you! “Team” is a collective noun, ya idjits: your team is available…and I bet you have lots of slow days!

15. With billions of daily active users Facebook, it is likely your audience of clients and prospects are on there, too.

“Audience” is a collective noun, and it’s singular. Singular.

16. This course covers Facebook from it’s demographic details to the anatomy of a compelling facebook business page, setting it up, simple ways to develop exciting content, privacy issues, facebook advertising and more.

I wouldn’t give you a nickle for your knowledge about facebook, ’cause you can’t spell (Facebook is a proper noun!), and you still don’t know that its is the possessive of it, not it’s.

17. Join us to learn about using Twitter for Business.

There’s no such thing as “Twitter for Business,” though you can use Twitter for business.

18. Join us to learn how to setup and use LinkedIn for your business.

“Setup” is a noun; “set up” is a verb.

19. In this course, you will learn how to create valuable content, properly setup your blog posts (optimized!), and strategically promote them.

How can people who don’t know the difference between “setup” and “set up” (or it’s versus its) teach anyone how to create “valuable content”? Seems they have plenty to say grace over just correcting their own!!!!

20. Whether you need help setting up your email marketing for the first time, being more consistent with your newsletters (like sending them out monthly instead of ‘whenever you get around to it’) giving your newsletter a much-needed overhaul to provide relevant, useful information to your audience (so they look forward to your emails each month) our team at Markbeech Marketing are ready to help!

Wow! You use double quotes always, unless you have a quote within a quote, and then (and only then) do you use single quotes, and then we’ve got both “audience” AND “team” used as plural nouns when BOTH ARE SINGULAR  NOUNS.

21. Our email marketing services include:
Setup of new, custom, mobile responsive email template
~ design layout including; spam check, links to social media and website, forward to a friend feature, and more

Geez. Never put a colon after “include,” “includes,” or “including.” I’ve never seen anyone put a semicolon after “including”; at least, I never had before this! And, again, “set up” is the verb, “setup” is the noun.

22. Contact us today to setup a time to tell us about your email marketing needs!

It’s set up, not setup!

23. If you are a business owner looking for a few hours to site down with a professional to help you take your marketing and business to the next level, you will benefit from a Marketing Coaching Session with Markbeech Marketing.

Sure ’nuff, I’ll jus’ site on down with dem profeshionals at the Markeee, what, what, whaaaat….Sheesh, I got da big bucks, and you know what they say about a fool….

25. After returning to the states and working as Marketing Manager for a variety of organizations, I found their was a need for small businesses to better understand and utilize social media marketing (which I loved).

Yeah, when I was in third grade, I didn’t know how to spell “there” either! There’s a biiiiig need for people who can spell there correctly for their clients!

25. I look forward to the opportunity to help you grow your business to it’s fullest potential!

This sentence (and many others) compliments of Markbeech Marketing, the people who will take your money but can’t write worth a damn.

Don’t let people like these publish your book!

I guess nothing should surprise me, but I admit that I was shocked tonight when I picked up a flyer from a local publishing company (and I use that phrase reluctantly) named Peppertree Press. The flyer contained at least 18 out-and-out punctuation/grammar mistakes, and the writing was lousy. I went to Peppertree’s website, and quickly found more mistakes.

If I wrote like this, I’d slit my wrists.

  1. We utilize the cover-art, applying those elements to your interior to enhance the look of your interior design.
  2. All our books are distributed worldwide through Ingram, Baker and Taylor, Books in Print, and launched on online venues such as: the Peppertree Press, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and Books a Million.
  3. Each author’s book royalties are disbursed quarterly, reflecting their online sales.
  4. As the late Eleanor Roosevelt so eloquently stated, “If you prepare yourself…you will be able to grasp opportunity for a broader experience when it appears”.
  5. My name is Julie Ann James and along with my colleague and Editorial Director Teri Lynn Franco, are proud to introduce to you a company that offers professional publishing with a personal touch!
  6. We welcome you to go on the grand tour of our Web site and take the first step in turning your manuscript into a masterpiece.
  7. Julie Ann James lives in Sarasota, Florida with her family.
  8. Together we have planted the book publishing seed and with great enthusiasm have launched this fine company to aspiring authors who have dreams and aspirations of turning their manuscripts into masterpieces.
  9. Over the years, we have participated in the following Literacy events…

Peppertree has been the Co-Sponsor with The Sarasota Literacy Council’s luncheon, Celebrating Authors and Illustrators
– All of the Proceeds Benefited The Adult Literacy Program

Sponsor of the Florida Writers Association’s yearly Writing Conference …as well as a panelist discussing writing and publishing

Poetry Judge for the Annual Reading Council’s poetry contest, publishing the winners in The Pepper Tree Literary Magazine

Continuing education by giving talks to Creative Writing classes at local schools, colleges and Universities

Book basket donations to a variety of non-for-profit organizations

  1. Q: What genres does Peppertree publish?

A: We publish, fiction, non-fiction, inspirational/ religious, children’s, educational, poetry, biography, auto-biography and cookbooks.

  1. Q: Do you provide e-book services?

A: Yes. After you have approved your final book, we can re-format it to an e-book version.

  1. Q: How will my book be marketed and distributed?

A: Most importantly through each authors marketing efforts.

  1. This was a paper that was simply priceless and something that the community could not only grasp in their hands, but one in which they could participate, both as readers and contributors.

No tolerance.

I admit it. I have no tolerance for people who say that they are “professional” writers but who can’t write their way out of a paper sack.

These are all sentences from people who take your money to write for you—in the case of the marketing company whose sentences are featured from #10 to the end, the company actually offers seminars on writing best practices—but who demonstrate a deplorable ignorance about the simplest of writing concepts.

Don’t get ripped off!

Wow! Many of these sentences contain multiple mistakes. Take a look!

  1. After sharing this philosophy and system in the International Bestseller (7L) The Seven Levels of Communication: Go from Relationships to Referrals, Michael with no plans for speaking, coaching, or training was instantly inundated with requests to teach the system.
  2. I usually edit things as I read them, as a habit. I guess its from years of teaching at the University level.
  3. I plan to retire in Aquia Harbor, Virginia someday!
  4. Once the corporate identity has been created your logo is only as good as it’s implementation – stationery, letter head, business cards, packaging and/or advertising campaign – needs to be well thought out and properly executed to create brand awareness (and increased sales).
  5. Collateral material (brochures, catalogs, press releases, annual reports, direct mail packages, etc.) helps strengthen a company’s presentation and makes a powerful impression to current and prospective clients, it enhances the image and personality of your business.
  6. Collateral material is a business’s direct communication with their customers: these materials announce new products, special sales or reinforce brand awareness.
  7. Because of our expertise in a variety of disciplines, we are successful in coordinating a company’s visual identity with it’s marketing.
  8. A web site is a powerful tool to enhance your company’s identity and presence, but it only works if it is current.
  9. LightSpeed VT is the next generation of on-demand interactive video-based training platforms for speakers, trainers and subject matter experts. They are a full-service agency that can customize, train, track, market, monitor, evaluate and build relationships to compliment your business.
  10. We will create the design, fill it with great content, manage your email lists and send it out for you.
  11. Are you consistently and effectively reaching out to your customers, prospects and referral sources right where they hang out everyday?
  12. Jeanne’s other passions include her two beautiful girls, her puppies, her British, rugby-loving hubby, competitive volleyball, Phineas and Ferb, the Chicago White Sox, a good Cabernet Savignon, spicy curry, traveling around the world and hanging out with close friends.
  13. Social media marketing channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogging are tremendous resources but each has it’s own unique setup, implementation and communication style.
  14. Our team of professionals are available to speak at your next conference or company workshop.
  15. With billions of daily active users Facebook, it is likely your audience of clients and prospects are on there, too.
  16. This course covers Facebook from it’s demographic details to the anatomy of a compelling facebook business page, setting it up, simple ways to develop exciting content, privacy issues, facebook advertising and more.
  17. Join us to learn about using Twitter for Business.
  18. Join us to learn how to setup and use LinkedIn for your business.
  19. In this course, you will learn how to create valuable content, properly setup your blog posts (optimized!), and strategically promote them.
  20. Whether you need help setting up your email marketing for the first time, being more consistent with your newsletters (like sending them out monthly instead of ‘whenever you get around to it’) giving your newsletter a much-needed overhaul to provide relevant, useful information to your audience (so they look forward to your emails each month) our team at Mxx Marketing are ready to help!
  21. Our email marketing services include:
    Setup of new, custom, mobile responsive email template
    ~ design layout including; spam check, links to social media and website, forward to a friend feature, and more
  22. Contact us today to setup a time to tell us about your email marketing needs!
  23. If you are a business owner looking for a few hours to site down with a professional to help you take your marketing and business to the next level, you will benefit from a Marketing Coaching Session with Markxxx Marketing.
  24. After returning to the states and working as Marketing Manager for a variety of organizations, I found their was a need for small businesses to better understand and utilize social media marketing (which I loved).
  25. I look forward to the opportunity to help you grow your business to it’s fullest potential!