Beware the Black Beer

A few days ago I was conducting a little internet reconnaissance for an upcoming fall family trip to the Great Smoky Mountains. One particular site enticed me with the promise of frequent sightings of “white-tailed deer and black beers.” Rewind: what? Black beers? This was turning into an entirely different vacation.

I sent the link to my sister, an elementary school teacher, and my university-attending niece for their reading pleasure. My sister noticed that, according to the site, the views were “wondrous,” and my niece raised concerns about the “full-moon bike rides.” Entirely different vacation!

This is a cautionary tale about carefully proofreading everything you write – from a letter to your child’s teacher to an elaborately designed web site. The fact is when your communications are riddled with typos (even ones that don’t have dual meaning), you lose the respect of your audience and might eventually lose their business. Why? They assume that if you can’t take the time to deliver well-written correspondence and marketing pieces that you lack the professionalism to deliver the service they need to their satisfaction.

Will I be cancelling our fall trip to take in the foliage and wildlife? Of course not. Will I be looking over my shoulder for a dark beer in a frosty mug making its way through the dense forest? It would certainly make the day even more interesting. But I promise I will not participate in any full-moon bike rides.


Coach: Can I draw you a beer, Norm? Norm: No, I know what they look like. Just pour me one―Cheers


heather said...

Very true comment, AmyMac! I see spelling errors and typos everywhere-and it certainly calls the writer's attention to detail into question. As an attorney, most of the time judges see my written work before anything else, such as oral argument.

Your Council. Just kidding.
Your Counsel.

Amy Mac said...

I think people rely too much on spell check these days. When it comes to proofreading, nothing is as effective as taking a few extra minutes to re-read your materials. Although my guess is re-reading a legal brief could take a really, really long time! I wish I had a cool title like Your Counsel. I'm going to think up something. Perhaps Your Scribe.