Bug out for a sec over that typo? This one’s for you.
Weekly email archives and occasional extra words that don't have a home anywhere else on my site.
Brussels. sprouts. has. an. ESSSSSS.
omg. I cringe every time I spot a typo on a menu. (And smile as I float down my river of superiority.)
I’ve been doing this since I was a kid: My dad and I would sit in our neighborhood Chinese restaurant and point them all out to each other before we’d even ordered our egg rolls.
(And yes, I do now recognize the problematic nature of this pastime.)
But there is a difference between smugly noting the error in private and pulling a manager aside to push your glasses up the bridge of your nose as you say, “It’s beurre blanc. E-U. And while we’re here, a set menu is prix fixe.”
Plus, a 2016 University of Michigan study concluded that people who point out typos are, well, kinda jagbags. (I’ve seen firsthand how quickly a spelling correction on an Instagram caption can devolve into ad hominem attacks.)
And what, pray tell, could be more important than these things?
Meaning. The heart of your message, the substance of what you’re saying: This is what really matters.
I will not embark on a client copywriting project without getting fully clear on the core story they want to tell about their brand. Even if I’m not delivering a brand message to them, I need it to write well.
Because that’s what it all hinges on, what makes the copy compelling in the end.
No one’s going to notice if your copy is flawless.
They are going to notice — even if they don’t actually notice — when what you have to say speaks to their soul.
When they can tell you understand their struggles.
When they see you have a plan to help solve those problems.
When they know you’ll be there as they ascend to their aspirational identity.
❓ Ask smart friends to peruse your copy.
❌ Don’t ignore those red squiggles.
✓ Use Grammarly if you must.
🔌 Plug your words into a Fleisch-Kincaid readability checker.
(Hard truth: You’ll probably mess something up anyway. Eventually. Because you’re deliciously human.)
This is the Internet, and there will always be buttholes close at hand, eager to criticize you. There will also almost always be opportunities to correct your little mistakes.
But don’t let a fear of typos slow you down. Go slow because you wanna get it right as rain.
F-S: Reserved for rest