This message from my morning email makes the case for thinking before you write – and for proofreading after you do.
This is an invitation to a grand opening. I’m not exactly sure what visitors would find if they attended, because the picture was too small to read most of the print.
“We would like to invite past and feature clients, business partners, and current employees with families.”
So – what is wrong with it?
First, it was distributed to people who are not “past or feature clients, business partners, or current employees with families."
Why send an announcement to someone who isn’t invited? Seems a bit rude to me.
You might assume that since they sent it to every connection they had on social media, they wanted to invite everyone. But that’s not what they said.
Second is one of my pet peeves, but something people all over the world do every day both in print and in spoken words: “We would like to invite.” My immediate reaction to that and to “I would like to thank…” is “Then just do it! What is holding you back?”
Third – what the heck is a feature client? I’m sure Gwen Banta could come up with something witty to go with that one.
And finally, why are they only inviting current employees with families? What about employees who are single. Or, does almost everyone qualify because almost everyone has some kind of family. So only orphans and those who are truly alone are excluded?
Yes, I know. That isn’t what they meant. They probably meant that all of those people are invited and that they’re welcome to bring their families along. But that’s not what they said.
The bottom line: Before you send a message out into the world, read what you wrote.
Instead of thinking about what you meant, look at what you said. If possible, hand it to a willing critic and ask them what it says.
And then, for the sake of not looking foolish, proofread and look at the actual words you used. You don’t want the take-away from your message to be people wondering what a “feature client” might be.
Laptop Image courtesy of punsayaporn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Signpost courtesy of stuart miles at freedigitalphotos.net