12 Nov

“MISTAEKS HAPPEN” – 27 Messed Up Grammar Headlines

Benjamin Franklin’s famous adage, “Take time for all things: great Haste makes great Waste” applies to most things, but especially to the printing industry.

This pearl of wisdom teaches that sometimes, you have to slow down long enough to do a good job and long enough to detect errors and correct them.

In the printing business, no truer words are spoken.

One can only imagine the number of errors that can slip through the cracks, when a big printing company, like a Newspaper, is running on a tight deadline. Any time there is a big rush, errors are bound to occur.

Mistakes happen more frequently than you would think.

The following Messed Up Grammar Headlines are Newspaper errors which were detrimental to their particular newspaper and customers:
  1. Lawmen from Mexico barbecue guests
  2. Miners refuse to work after death
  3. Two sisters reunite after eighteen years at checkout counter
  4. Enraged cow injures farmer with ax
  5. Smokers are productive, but death cuts efficiency
  6. Prostitutes appeal to Pope
  7. Drunk drivers paid $1,000 in 1984
  8. Autos killing 110 a day, let’s resolve to do better
  9. Man is fatally slain
  10. Death causes loneliness, feeling of isolation
  11. If strike isn’t settled quickly it may last a while
  12. Deaf mute gets new hearing in killing
  13. Never withhold herpes from loved one
  14. Use Clothing to keep warm during winter
  15. Pregnant girls are vulnerable to weight gain
  16. Homicide victims rarely talk to the Police
  17. Death is Nation’s Top Killer
  18. Females likely to test for women’s diseases
  19. Putting urine in your ears not recommended to treat sinus infections
  20. Panda Mating Fails, Veterinarian Takes Over
  21. Missippi’s Literacy Program Shows Improvement
  22. Used Toilet Paper – For Sale
  23. Three lines of jumphed right in her, yappers
  24. Meat head resigns
  25. Never Withhold Herpes Infection from a Loved One
  26. Federal Agents Raid Gunshop, Find Weapons
  27. Starvation Can Lead to Health Hazards

 

Although funny to us (and they are funny), the fallout from these mistakes cost somebody some money and considerable embarrassment.

 

Photo: The four capital mistakes of open source by OpenSource.com
05 Nov

The Proof is in the Proof – The Proofing Process

So What is a Proof?

Proof is a funny little word, sometimes requiring a bit of explanation to new customers who come into the print shop.

Dictionary Definition:

proof
pro͞of
noun
2. a trial print of something, in particular.
  1. 3. A trial impression of a page, taken from type or film and used for making corrections before final printing.

The Proofing Process

photo (1)After the time of design & setup, and before the stage of printing on the press or printer, we create a sample, or a first draft, of the customer’s job. This is called a proof. This printed copy provides an example of what will be printed.  The customer will proofread the copy, checking for the correct text, fonts, errors and omissions, colours, graphic artwork, the margins, and overall setup and positioning on the page. 

After checking the details carefully, and the customer is convinced there aren’t any errors, they must then sign the proof, or sign off in person, or by fax or email, giving us their permission to print their job. This gives us the order, or the OK to print with their approval. Once the proof is signed, we proceed to the Presses.

If we have created the file, we always provide a proof. If the customer hands us a file that was previously created by them, or another designer, a proof isn’t required, except in the case where we might make corrections, or changes to their original file. However, a proof is printed in-house for us to double-check the copy, and to ensure we have the proper file.

The proofing system protects both the customer and Hucul Printing because both sides are  required to pay careful attention to the details right up to press time, hence the proof is in the proof.

 

29 Oct

Everyone Makes Silly Mistakes

Deep down, we are all inherently a little critical inside. We are always, subconsciously on the lookout for bloopers, or flops. If we find them, we make a mental note to self as to where we saw the error.

This can be the case with your business. When you want to represent yourself in the best manner possible, spelling and grammatical errors can be an annoyance and can be distracting to your customer.

Silly mistakes can help undermine confidence in your customers and your readers, creating a knee jerk reaction for a customer . And the errors might just send them somewhere else to do their business, because your initial credibility has been put into doubt.

Poor writing skills garners poor first impressions. This is why spelling and grammar is important in the marketing place.

Business Copy Should be Mainly Professional

In a world of texting, abbreviated words, newly invented words, cliches and slang words of the new social media era, it can be easy to allow this type of spelling to show up in your business copy.

At times, a working knowledge of the new terms can be a useful writing device. But, only under rare and special circumstances.

The Late Night comedy shows poke fun at printing errors. Their comedy writers glean examples from personal announcements, e.g.  weddings, flyers, ads, business cards, newsletters, flyers, headlines in a Newspaper. These errors are a bonus for the comedians because blatant errors are fodder for popular comedic segments for their shows, therefore, those errors make them money!

Small Errors Cause Big Damage

air0937066_79cd26ed19_oThere are several examples online of how silly errors can be embarrassing and potentially harmful to brands.

Someone once quoted that something wasn’t a personal statement, instead of a personnel statement. The error lies in just 2 letters, but those 2 letters changed the entire message. This particular situation caused trouble in the Government sector.

Errors like this are called a Typo. A Typo is short for a Typographical Error.

In the case of extreme printing errors, which would be deemed as egregious errors (bad, shocking, inappropriate or flagrant), a newspaper, or newsletter publisher could have the responsibility of the error placed directly on them; they would have to either retract a statement, or make a formal correction and apology, or make financial compensation. Not to mention, suffer the humiliation of making the error with all of it’s consequences.

In the case of printing a Newsletter or a Coffee Paper, the Commercial Printer could be on the hook for reprinting the whole edition… but only if the Print Shop had created the file, or if we created the file, and the customer didn’t sign approval re: a proof.

However, these days, the Printer typically receives the files directly from the customer, where their own editing and proofreading would, or should be done, in-house at their end.

This takes the editing out of the hands of the Commercial Printer because they aren’t getting paid for this part of the job.

How Commercial Printers Handle Errors

spelling 4646315167_3a9975ac43_zAs a commercial printer, Hucul Printing ensures the customer knows that if it is their file, they must be extra careful when it comes to detecting errors.

If requested, Hucul Printing can provide a proof of a file created by the customer; in order for them to check everything over carefully and avoid mistakes from being printed.

We can also provide proof-reading services for those who seek help with editing grammar, punctuation, spelling etc.

If we have created the file, we automatically provide a proof.

The proof (or sample printing), gives the customer the chance to study the copy for errors.

If they are convinced there aren’t any errors, they Sign The Proof, which gives us the Order to print with their approval.

Once the proof is signed, we proceed to the Presses.

Even so, Hucul Printing does it’s best to check over Headers and Titles, in particular, as a courtesy to the customer, even if the File was created by the customer.

One Letter, One Huge Mistake

A number of years ago, I discovered a block heading on the Front page of a Newsletter that was meant to be read as Public. To the horror of the editor, I spotted Pubic, while I was helping to collate the printed newsletter. In this case, it was only one missing letter that made all the difference.

These words couldn’t be picked up on simple spell check ; this type of editing required a careful proofreading by the writer and publisher of the Newsletter.

This was ultimately an embarrassing error for the editor of the Newsletter. Unfortunately, this was a local story re: a local municipal issue at the City level.

15 Oct

5 Simple Steps to Avoid Embarrassing Mistakes

Here are: 5 basic proofreading steps to help you avoid costly and embarrassing mistakes.

1. Use the spell check on your computer to help detect errors

But also have another person help to check over the spelling and grammar.

There are classic confusions with words like: “there, their, they’re, they are, or it’s and its”. These are words that the spell check will not flag as errors, and this is where good old human know how works best.

2. Watch out for Homonyms

Homonyms are words that share the same pronunciations or spellings, but they have different meanings. For example, confusion often arises with accept & except, or words like complement and compliment, aid & aide, allowed and aloud, assent & ascent, aught and ought, awful & awful, basis and bases, bloc & block, breech and breach. The list goes on and on.

Any mixing of the terms can be disastrous, in some circumstances.

When in doubt, check it out.

It is easy to pick up a dictionary, or a thesaurus, or you can quickly Google spellings and definitions online.

Here is a site to help you with Homonyms:

3. Print your Copy on Paper

3005591006_8b62706d43Reading and editing on a computer screen is different compared to reading the printed page that you are holding in your hands. Using a highlighter to mark the errors you spot is very useful. Using a pen to make corrections and notes in the margins also helps. Then, you can go back to the drawing board (the computer) and make your corrections. Then, print again and re-edit until it is just right.

4. Pay Attention to Punctuation

Correct use of capitals, hyphens, apostrophes, commas, quotes, periods, colons & semi-colons strengthens your printing project

Just like a printing or grammatical error, misuse of punctuation can give unintended meanings, distract and annoy the customers, or your readers.

If you have trouble with this, find someone to help, or educate yourself on correct usage.

5. Double Check your Numbers

This is important.

Once a Flyer or an Ad has been printed, it can be hard to undo what has been printed. In the case where a company advertizes costs for sale items, they either have to ‘make good‘ on the mistakenly printed price, or they have to reprint and retract the price to deal with customers who expect to find these items at the published cost. This is an embarrassing and inconvenient scenario. So, editing these numbers is critical.

03 Sep

Blogs keeps you posted (via Friday AM)

The business landscape keeps on changing, and it has become a challenge to keep up with all the new trends and exciting tools available.

Keeping apprised to all these changes in the techno-computer world can help local businesses in-crease visibility in the marketplace.

Hucul Printing has taken on this challenge by interfacing Facebook, Twitter, and its company website capabilities.

It has also created an active business Blog.

To help stay relevant in the current business environment, this longtime Salmon Arm company is extending its information tools as a way to stay more useful to its printing customers.

“Our goal is to assist customers in a multi-faceted way by educating them on the best and most cost effective printing options,” says Jordan Pack.

“Ultimately, this will save [the customers] money, speed up the printing process, and improve the company’s presence,  look and appeal.

“Finally, the Blog will help educate our patrons about new and exciting printing possibilities.”

The internet and social media makes it easy for small businesses to engage with its customers from the comfort of the computer both at home or at the workplace. There are valuable insights to share with customers and the blogging media.

Go to HuculPrinting.com/blog and check out the latest posts. 
Learn how Hucul Printing can assist our local businesses.


 

First published in the July 11th Issue # 876 of the Salmon Arm Friday AM, BIZ BUZZ Column.