Monday, August 18, 2008

Malaprop Man strikes again

In my line of work, badly-written press releases are sent to me ALL the time. Honestly. A good copy editor is a highly undervalued resource in today's business world. Why spend thousands or millions of dollars developing a product or service, only to look foolish and incompetent in front of the media with press materials full of mistakes?

Have no doubts about it, PR people: journalists are quietly judging you, your bad grammar and your overabundance of adjectives.

Does that make us smug dorks? Yes. Will we stop doing it? No.

I read one today that cracked me up, and I just had to post it here. This particular tidbit came in some information on a local subdivision. The unnecessarily capitalized adjectives like "Metropolitan Paradise" clued me in that this one would be a forehead-slapper. But toward the end, the writeup informed me that the neighborhood's trees, pavement, etc., create "a more ascetically appealing street."

ascetic: austere, plain, simple, unadorned
aesthetic: pertaining to a sense of the beautiful

I'll grant you that the use of "ascetically" is not technically grammatically incorrect; but I have a feeling it was not the word the writer intended. Spell-checker won't save your butt every time, people.

Ok. I'll stop with the smugness now.

1 comment:

Chad Aaron Sayban said...

The sad thing it that "ascetically appealing street" is probably not an incorrect statement for the way most neighborhoods look. Maybe there were being truthful for once...although I doubt it.