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Tripped Up by a Typo: Five Real-Life Examples [Slide Show]

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110916-01. Intro
It's bad enough when you notice a typo in a tweet. But what if a sloppy error ends up on a billboard, in a menu, or above the front door of your business? Copywriters Simon Glickman and Julia Rubiner curate an entertaining collection of grammatical disasters and other printed goofs in the "Not Our Clients" section of Here are a few samples—each of which makes an excellent case for fanatical proofreading.
110916-02. It's or Its?

It's or Its?

In this most common of errors, retailer Sports Chalet flubs an ad for the "Action Pass" rewards card by using it's—a contraction of it is—rather than the possessive its. Beware: This careless switcheroo—much like misusing there/their/they're—is a major pet peeve of customers who care about English.

110916-03. The Wrong Word Altogether

The Wrong Word Altogether

Somehow, the marketing team, the printer, and the retail employees of fashionable clothier Diesel all managed to miss the obvious mistake in this already-clunky line: "It's Painfully Hot To Loose Your Shades Once In A While." Errors like that hurt credibility more than most because they look and sound wrong.

110916-04. The Homonym Trap

The Homonym Trap

This banner for Friendly Donuts makes a homonymic mistake by announcing "We All So Have Food," when it clearly means "We Also Have Food." That type of cringe-worthy goof suggests that your company is run by high school dropouts. But, note Glickman and Rubiner, it doubles down with flawed semantics: Aren't donuts food, after all?

110916-05. Blanking on Your Name

Blanking on Your Name

The copy for this ad—from a legal firm that specializes in intellectual property—doesn't make embarrassingly egregious errors. You won't, for instance, find misspelled words or bad grammar. But you also won't find "Reising Ethington"—the advertiser's name!

110916-06. The Unnecessary Apostrophe

The Unnecessary Apostrophe

In this example, a car dealership fell prey to an affliction that seems especially widespread in SMB marketing—the unnecessary apostrophe: "All New Kia Come's With 10 Years Or 100,000 Miles Warranty." That error typically occurs when marketers misunderstand the plural form of a noun.

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Christian Gulliksen is a writer who has authored several of the Get to the Po!nt newsletters for MarketingProfs. A former editor at Robb Report, he has also contributed to Worth, Variety, and The Hollywood Reporter.

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