Banana skinPeople often send me copy mistakes they find, and I can’t help proofreading as I go about my day. Here are some disasters I’ve seen in the past month, with added commentary.

Opening an online chat with Apple Support:

Hey there, Jackie! I am Senior Advisor, Brandon! First off, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to work with us on your issue. How are you doing?”

Brandon may be trying to be friendly but this is not helpful. All I want to do is find a solution to my problem. Not engage in inane chit-chat with too many exclamation marks.

But it got worse. Here’s how the chat ended:

“Since it worked prior to changing what was changed, then something may need to be changed again.”

Er, yes. Although that’s not exactly the answer I was hoping for.  


Shared by @66000mph on Twitter:

Genpact Digital

Can you imagine trotting all that out as the answer to the question: “Hello, what do you do?”
Some of my Facebook friends thought it was a spoof – but no. Google the company and you’ll find a whole website full of this kind of goobledegook. I only hope their target clients understand it better than I do.


From Wales Online:

“A beautiful ‘hobbit house’ threatened with being torn down, and subsequently winning the support of more than 100,000 people across the world, has at last been told it can stay.”

I can only imagine the conversation.

Kay, the planning inspector: “Hello, Hobbit House.”

Hobbit House: ” ”

Kay, the planning inspector: “I’m delighted to tell you that you can stay.”

Hobbit House: ” ”

Kay Sheffield, planning inspector: “I thought you’d be pleased. But you’re a bit quiet?”

Hobbit House (thinks): “I’m a house. I can’t talk.”


As seen on the back of a van driving back from Gatwick Airport (I was in the passenger seat):


Where the edge of your Dream becomes realitity?

Quite apart from the typo, it makes absolutely no sense.


On a hotel website:

Free parking at the hotel is available on a first come, first serve basis

It should be ‘first come, first served’.

Avail the best offers.

It should be ‘Avail yourself of…’ but that’s archaic. Better to say ‘ Browse our best offers’ or ‘Grab our best price now’

Get huge discount on last minute booking.

It should be ‘Get a huge discount when you book at the last minute’ or ‘Huge discounts for last-minute bookings’ – but it’s better to encourage early bookings so it’s a badly thought-out incentive.

I suspect the entire website has been written by a non-English speaker.


Top tip: If English is not your first language, if you’re dyslexic, or if you suspect you can’t write well – trust a professional copywriter. We’ll ensure you don’t slip up, so you avoid mistakes and ridicule.





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