What is wrong with this sentence?

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

This message from my morning email makes the case for thinking before you write – and Please read what you wrote before you sendfor 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 Read what you wrote! 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

 

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Topic:
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
Groups:
Real Estate Rookie
Almost Anything Goes
EXPRESS WITH WORDS AT ACTIVERAIN
Blogs Happen...
Bananatude
Tags:
proofreading
clarity in communication

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
370,861
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Great reminder Marte Cliff :  It's best to have someone uninvolved in the message do the proof-reading before sending anything out.     I'm a big fan of  Gwen Banta     by the way - she of all people could make something funny out of a "featured" client.

Jul 11, 2019 01:02 PM #46
Rainmaker
326,643
Karen Rice Madison AL Realtor
Keller Williams Realty Madison - Madison, AL
434-282-7936 Call/Text

Marte, Thank you for the laugh.  I agree with everything you said.  It's just plain rude to only invite employees with families. 

Jul 11, 2019 01:06 PM #47
Rainmaker
1,066,143
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

The lack of proofreading and many grammar/spelling mistakes makes reading painful. If the writing is so sloppy, the message probably is too. 

I've given up writing to editors - not enough time for me to bother anymore it's so rampant.

Jul 11, 2019 01:24 PM #48
Rainmaker
1,520,299
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

M.C. Dwyer I love it when there's someone available to read what I wrote. It doesn't always happen, unfortunately.

Maybe Gwen Banta will stop in and give us her take - that would be fun. I'm a big fan (and a bit envious) of her wit.

 

Jul 11, 2019 01:30 PM #49
Rainmaker
1,520,299
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I think so too, Karen Rice Madison AL Realtor - people who are alone in the world might appreciate going to a party more than most.

Margaret Goss We really can't fight it - but that doesn't mean we have to join it!

Jul 11, 2019 01:33 PM #50
Rainer
7,213
Clay Greathouse
Tombstone Real Estate - Tombstone, AZ
Off-Grid, Alternative,Rural, Solar,Cochise Arizona

Funny, when I first read through it, I read Future, wasn't till you pointed out it said Feature,that I noticed.  What doe's that say about me?

Jul 11, 2019 01:47 PM #51
Rainmaker
2,434,058
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Life teaches and preachers teach...Oh to be aware, reachable and inviting coming and going regardless of circumstances. The life-clock never stops and of improving on ones self and their ways...a constant vigilance! Yes to this posting

Jul 11, 2019 01:49 PM #52
Rainmaker
1,520,299
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Clay Greathouse I think it says something sensible. It also underlines the reason why it's so hard for us to proofread our own work. You saw the word that made sense in the context, just like we see the words we intended to write.

Richie Alan Naggar And we all must keep learning - or shrivel away.

Jul 11, 2019 02:09 PM #53
Rainmaker
3,266,454
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Marte - real life examples are so beneficial on so many levels. And so "telling" too.

Jul 11, 2019 02:43 PM #54
Rainmaker
1,520,299
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Michael Jacobs And sometimes they're good for a chuckle.

Jul 11, 2019 03:08 PM #55
Rainer
214,393
Greg Mona
Faira Homes Corp - Scottsdale, AZ
Real Estate in the 21st Century!

Hi Marte Cliff . That example you shared with us consists of only 16 words, yet it leaves you with more questions than answers and has one big old typo to boot. It is safe to say nobody proofread that little blurb (at least let's HOPE not!). As I saw in a previous response to this post, it does seem like there are more and more typos and poorly written copy lately than in the past. And good Lord, have you checked out any posts on Facebook lately?! If their policy was your post would automatically be removed for poor grammar and/or typographic errors, there would be very few posts! It is a great illustration of how illiterate our society has become. Anyway, I digress...

Jul 11, 2019 05:13 PM #56
Ambassador
3,226,460
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Oh my goodness, we rip to shreds emails, identically, Marte! I think the worst is the 'employees with families' - what is someone just returned to work who had just lost their spouse? 

Jul 11, 2019 08:57 PM #57
Rainmaker
1,520,299
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Greg Mona Once when one of my sons was in 2nd grade I filled in for the teacher while she went to a  funeral. When she got back she had the kids do show and tell, and one little boy got up to tell about something he and his brother had done. He started off with "Me and my brother..."

Later I asked why she hadn't corrected his grammar. Her reason was that if she corrected the students' grammar it would insult their parents.

Do we need to wonder why illiteracy is growing?

Jul 11, 2019 09:11 PM #58
Rainmaker
1,520,299
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

All that ripping is kinda fun, isn't it Debe Maxwell, CRS? I thought "employees with families" was awful too - even though I doubt that it's what they meant. I think they intended to invite everyone and wanted them to know they were welcome to bring their families along. It's just not what they said. 

Did you notice that they failed to include current clients? They only invited past and "feature" clients.

Jul 11, 2019 09:14 PM #59
Rainmaker
501,027
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I can see why that phrase is a pet peeve of yours!  It really doesn't make sense.  Wondering if a 'professional marketing firm' wrote that poorly worded copy?

Jul 12, 2019 03:14 PM #60
Rainmaker
1,520,299
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR Oh - I hope that wasn't written by someone claiming to be a professional. You never know, though. I get marketing email from companies overseas whose writers clearly haven't begun to master our language.

Jul 12, 2019 03:22 PM #61
Ambassador
1,819,502
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Oh my, this is a sloppy one, isn't it? The English language is quite a conundrum for many. 

Jul 13, 2019 10:43 AM #62
Rainmaker
1,520,299
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD Yes, it certainly is.

Jul 13, 2019 11:01 AM #63
Rainmaker
970,924
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Wow!  That's a zinger!  Not only did they mess up an invitation, they probably offended a few folks!

Jul 13, 2019 06:42 PM #64
Rainmaker
1,520,299
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Jan Green If people stop to think about what that invitation says, then yes. They would have offended a few folks.

Jul 13, 2019 09:24 PM #65
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainmaker
1,520,299

Marte Cliff

Your real estate writer
Do you have a question about real estate copywriting? Just ask!
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention