Saturday, August 2, 2008

Bad Examples for Writers

We have come to another round of scolding for lazy or under-educated writers. Today's examples come from articles and discussion boards where people ought to know better. Revel in the snark, and add your own examples if you feel moved so to do.

“Do bare in mind...” While this gentleman may have meant, “Do think about removing my clothes (or your own),” I suspect that he intended to ask the reader to “bear in mind” the concepts he went on to address.

“I haven't tried that one yet, but I about bet I could get it accomplished too!” This beauty appeared as part of an article. The author wondered why it had been rejected for payment. It closes out a four-sentence, introductory paragraph and springs the second exclamation point in those four sentences. Nowhere in the introduction does our illustrious author mention the subject of the article. At this point, the article appears to be about the feasibility of grilling cookies.

The “writer” follows the example sentence with a passive construction and a sentence fragment, both proudly displaying their own exclamation points. I don't remember the last time I was that excited about cooking, even on the grill.

“No amount of money can ever be set aside to reward teachers.” As the intent of the article from which I took this was to praise and support teachers, I presume that the writer intended to say just the opposite of this. Since the author claims to be a teacher, one would think he or she would have written, “There can never be enough money set aside to reward teachers.” I'd respectfully disagree with that notion, but at least the article would make sense.

“...I want to bring in examples of studies from the news or political poles.” Another teacher apparently uses some sort of sticks or perhaps signs gathered from various candidates. I suppose she could have meant that she uses “political polls” as examples for her classes. I would have assumed that this was a typographical error, except that the same spelling appears later in the paragraph.

“it's all about the benjimins!” The horrors of this “sentence” do not bear exploration. I simply offer it so that you may feel better about your own writing abilities. I realize that discussion boards do not require the formality of an article, but a small dose of not looking like an idiot would make his advice much more credible. Surely, you would never write something replete with capitalization and spelling errors, based in a passe cliché, would you, dear reader?