Duz grammer n spaleling mek iny difernce in a spale-chek wurld?

Mortgage and Lending with Crescent Bank & Trust

Go to fullsize imageWhy will I ever need to know this crap [Algebra, History, Social Studies, Language Arts, Science, and Geography] in real life? I've personally used these words, and I'll wager that most of us have done so at some point while being forced to do homework even though we had much bigger fish to fry. Little did I know while in grade school that I'd use the knowledge gained from almost all these subjects on an almost-daily basis, not only in real estate & banking, but in being a parent & volunteering as a Boy Scout leader, and even in running a family home.

This subject came to mind as I was reading this week's Coffee News over a sandwich. Coffee News is cheaply-printed in black & white font on glow-in-the-dark yellow 14X17 paper, folded in half to save display space.  In the style of rural mom & pop restaurant menus, all 3 inches of margin on each side, top, and bottom of the paper contains ad space. Old, tired, inspirational stories and jokes are printed in the middle (ad-free) portion. It's a lousy little low-budget publication, but it's free and I've grown to look forward to reading it during lunch.

One of the ads I've been noticing for several months is for a guy pushing annuities (probably variables, I'd guess, since that's where the big commissions are). The ad reads:

"Never loose your principle again."

Go to fullsize imageYes, friends, you're reading it exactly as printed. Of course, standard spell-check wouldn't have caught a misspelling because both "loose" and "principle" are spelled correctly. Now I'm loosing my principle [unleashing my belief system].  Let's first assume that this was (is) a misprint on the part of the publisher. If that were the case, our annuity salesman could've corrected the grammar many months ago. Since he hasn't done so, I'm inferring that the annuity guy submitted the ad this way when he rented the space. Aside from my lack of comfort with annuities of any kind, I asked myself if I'd be inclined to trust this person with my money based on his grammar-butchering advertisement. NOT A CHANCE

In my opinion, poor grammar in any form of marketing indicates carelessness, a reluctance to seek advice from experts, questionable judgment, and a general lack of professionalism. Finally, grammar issues aside, the validity of the statement is questionable. It IS possible to lose principal with an annuity.

Do you prefer not to lose your principal again? Open a CD at an FDIC-Insured Community Bank.

Posted by

North Metro Atlanta community banker, Woodstock, GA

Comments (7)

Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Hi Clark - Too funny - I almost went past your post because I just can't hack errors like that.  Then I realized it was intentional and stopped to read.  I'm with you - it boggles my mind how frequently I find errors that were addressed in second grade.  Makes me crazy.  Spellcheck is part of the problem in my opinion though you see plenty of writing that clearly wasn't even spell-checked.  And sadly many of these errors are now cropping up in very well regarded newspapers and I'm sure elsewhere.


Mar 16, 2009 11:50 AM
Clark Blackwell
Crescent Bank & Trust - Woodstock, GA

Liz, Thank you for reading my post! Heeding your comment about almost passing it up, I've revised the title. Several years ago I agreed to pass along a resume' to my boss at the request of a former co-worker. When I received the resume' by email I decided to review it before forwarding. It was so full of spelling & grammar errors that I couldn't recommend that person in good conscience.

As you pointed out, such things DO matter. Along these same lines, two curriculum omissions in our local public schools really annoy me: 1) Elementary teachers don't teach cursive writing anymore. Apparently one's signature isn't believed to be important anymore. 2) Spelling errors are neither routinely pointed out nor usually graded, due to the desire to avoid damaging a child's "self esteem", even though doing so might adversely affect that child in the future.

Grandma had a term for that: "Throwing the baby out with the bathwater."

Mar 17, 2009 02:13 AM
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Hi Clark ~ Regarding your comments about teaching nowadays - NPR had a segment recently about cursive and how it's not being taught widely.  It was a wonderful interview with the author of a new book that's out about cursive writing - my mother picked it up at the library and it looks great.  Don't even get me started on not correcting spelling or whole language or whatever they call it.  I got into an argument at a garage sale of all places when it came up in conversation that the woman holding the sale was a teacher and didn't use red markers because her students would feel bad.  Somedays I think we're doomed.  I don't know what I would do about school if I had kids.


Mar 17, 2009 10:37 AM
Clark Blackwell
Crescent Bank & Trust - Woodstock, GA

Our kids are 13 & 15 (8th grade & 9th) and they're enrolled in GA public schools.  It's been an almost constant stuggle with the latest issue being no math textbooks for our daughter.  We've purchased many text books from from the local home-school supply store over the years to augment the instruction they weren't receiving in the classroom. Last year we insisted on moving our daughter to a different Language Arts class after the original teacher conducted a class in which she -- I find this hard to believe even though I verified it - encouraged students, in the context of alliteration, to brainstorm and suggest the sexual connotations in nursery rhymes.

Again, thank you for reading my post. Thus far, no one else has commented. . .

Mar 18, 2009 04:30 AM
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Hi Clark, English is not my first language but I cancelled a newspaper once because I couldn't tolerate the constant misspellings. 

Mar 20, 2009 10:04 AM
Clark Blackwell
Crescent Bank & Trust - Woodstock, GA

Sylvia, Thank you for reading my post! Apparently my (and your) impression of the duties of a newspaper editor are off-track!

You've raised an interesting point. At the risk of sounding "provincial", I'm assuming from your response that ignorance of the basic rules of grammar & usage of the native language in written form is a peculiarity found only in the USA. 

Is that the case? Do German newspapers mangle Deutsch on a regular basis?


Mar 23, 2009 02:49 AM
Chris & Karen Highland
eXp Realty - Frederick, MD
Integrity, Experience, Enthusiasm!

Clark, I loved this post, I'm a grammar/spelling freak.  It's one of my peaves because bad syntax, spelling and grammar makes someone appear so unprofessional. And it is so easy to take a minute to look it over and fix it.  Even if people reading it don't have a great grasp on grammar and spelling, they know that something isn't right about it.  I see it so often, I'm wondering about the standards we keep.

Mar 25, 2009 03:31 AM