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When I am Copyeditor General ...: December 2008


Spas will get the deep-cleansing treatment

For Christmas/birthday this year, the Copyeditor General is going to New York, to include a visit to a Spa To Be Named Later. Wisely, location and treatment decisions have been left in her hands. And so to Google.

What does one look for in a spa website? Treatment descriptions, prices, photos, of course. And also cleanliness, professionalism, attention to detail. You want assurance that the service will be perfect.

All right, perhaps it's enough to feel safe; when you're on a table, encased in mud and Saran wrap, unable to move, you at least want to know a creepy admirer isn't lurking outside.

Uh-oh. Okay, so how's this: at the very least, you want to be treated as an individual, not given some cookie-cutter experience. You want reassurance that the spa is not just half-heartedly following a template.

Copyeditor General's ruling: Reading an imperfect spa website is like discovering discarded flip-flops in your locker or getting a facial from an esthetician with a cold. In the above cases, extensive deep-tissue massage is required.

Christmas will not be so commercial

The economy is in freefall, and 40% of Americans plan to spend less on Christmas this year.

So how is a retailer supposed to encourage people to buy its products? By advertising them in every possible place. Seen in the Christmas Tree Store:

Copyeditor Generals' ruling: Is there any more insidious way for the True Meaning of Christmas (TMOC) to be overwhelmed by crass commercialism? These tree skirts have 24 pockets, presumably so a new promo can be unveiled every day leading up to December 25.

Anyway, that's not how you do Christmas advertising;
this is how you do Christmas advertising:


Facebook advertisers will be forced to proofread

I've already said plenty about the grammar on Facebook. The users don't drive me nuts; it's the advertisers.

Now that it's a simple (if not cheap) process to promote an online business, it appears the hard work of writing pleasing ad copy is being taken out of the hands of marketing communications professionals and dropped in the laps of either interns or monkeys.

Copyeditor General's ruling: I think we all know who the idiot is in this situation.


The English will not be afraid of snow

Doutbless this will have been corrected by the time you see it, but I couldn't let this howler from the December 2 Guardian homepage pass unnoticed:

Copyeditor General's ruling: I've seen cars in the UK spin out on a light dusting of snow, so I know it makes people nervous. But is such a dramatic reaction really necessary?
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