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Chilly’s Blog – Like Looking in the Mirror
Ok, now this is starting to get just a little bit weird, or perhaps I am just so on target that the messages are universal.
I am just a guy sitting in front a key board in my kitchen. I kill a few hours doing this every morning, then I head out to the garage to get on with the more entertaining parts of my day. Much of the time I just assume no one pays much attention to some of my gibberish. But in some odd ways it is starting to come back to me. Perhaps it is all just coincidence, but now it is twice in two days.
First One: I see the Dirt Rider magazine website is running a story nearly identical to mine from January on KTM fuel injection filters and issues. Even the photos are composed almost exactly the same. Not that any of it offends me, it is a good topic and needs to be shared, but I am going to have to give Adam Booth a ribbing next time I see him.
Second One: Do you remember a week or so ago when I wrote about all the PR and advertising crap that people write under the guise of editorial content? That was in my Straight Talk blog, here is the excert:
“It has become commonplace that press releases and advertisements are passed along as if they were original content generated by some editor. It is hard to tell if a product review is real or fake. I see them all the time, because the same material shows up in my inbox also. Blame the economy, moto press is having a hard go at it. Blame the intertube, volume is king for search engine rankings. It all equals money in one way or another. Quality has rather gone by the wayside”.
Well, today I run across this tidbit. I have never heard of the author, but the title caught my eye so I gave it a once over. Low and behold it is nearly the identical sentiment that I voiced a week ago. I like the message so I am going to pass it along. Although I confess that the author might learn a little from his own preaching and stick to a slightly less expressive and clearer form of english to keep his message on track. But I guess it is probably all intentional to help drive his point home.
Several years ago I put together an easy to follow guide that offers solutions for three of the most common errors made by DIY publicists. Since then I’ve noticed a significant increase in the number of powersports announcements distributed under the hi-jacked heading of FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE! So poorly constructed they’re cause to wonder if a Kazakhstan goat herder isn’t ghost writing for the crowd source marketplace, they neither inform nor promote. No offense to my herder friends.
There’s a phrase common enough to pr practitioners (hack) that’s either a label of shame or badge of some distinction, if only among peers. Without naming names – and, sadly, you probably don’t know who you are – I’m gobsmacked at what the aftermarket seems willing to accept under the guise of published, presumed to be positive, information about products, services, and events by the former.
This isn’t about the errant comma, occasional misplaced modifier, or missing apostrophe. I’m raising the alarm over the wholesale abandonment of fundamental principles of grammar, any notion of style, and the essentials of literacy. Who needs coherent sentences when an odd lot assortment of disjointed words strung randomly together into incoherent phrases passes as sense.
“AIR QUOTES” RUN AMOK AMID OUT OF CONTROL MALAPROPS
I’m usually not a hard-core stickler for AP style, but. The increasingly sloppy gibberish masquerading as product praise not only offends my professional eye, but to the point does serious damage to a manufacturer’s online reputation and in-store brand. Unless, that is, the brands footing the bill think LOL ridicule is a desirable goal.
And it’s permanent. Once published to the web, these unintentional examples of no-talent hilarity circle the internet forever, ghost ships of puff piece silliness showing up on Google search “doh!” in perpetuity.
If you can’t hire a pro – and by that I mean someone possessed of a) basic writing skills and, b) a fundamental understanding that English, not Farsi, is North America’s marketing lingua franca – please take advantage of my basic tips for improving reputation and readership.