Earlier today my co-workers and I had a 10-minute conversation on the difference between affect and effect. I was just about to send out a pitch when I noticed the green squiggly line of death so I asked my co-workers who were correct – Word or me. Summer hopped on Google, found the answer and informed me that Word was correct… shocker. She continued to read out loud saying that because there is so much confusion around identifying the difference between “affect” and “effect”, more people have started using “impact” instead.
It’s not uncommon for me to switch out words from one that I know sounds more intelligent to a word that’s easier to spell but it shocked me that this is a fairly common practice. Its pure laziness of course, I mean Google and Thesaurus.com are always at my fingertips. Despite being raised with spellcheck and smartphones we should never dumb ourselves down. Perhaps our generation just doesn’t care. We’ve been able to cheat our way through a lot of things older generations couldn’t.
I remember my mother telling me stories about typing papers for English class in high school on her typewriter. If she messed up one word she would have to retype the entire thing. That sounds like a living hell to me. I would have been so frustrated everyday, especially working in PR.
We truly are blessed with the technology at our hands. We are obliged to use the tools we have to help ourselves. Google it, ask Siri, literally anything. Don’t let yourself be dumbed down when you can easily and quickly find the correct words on your phone, tablet or laptop.
Lots of love,
A few months back while reading up on ad and click fraud for our client eZanga, I came across a new form of click-fraud. This type of fraud re-directs users to an infected site if they misspell even one letter in the web address. As a dyslexic who worships the God named “Spellcheck”, I felt personally victimized after reading this. Are they specifically targeting people with learning disorders?
One simple spelling error can send you to a site with malware, pornography and lots of spam ads. Even scarier was realizing that I have already fallen victim to this countless of times. Even if you are thinking “oh well, I’m a good speller” it’s important to learn more about this particular fraud and how to avoid it.
The masked villains who are redirecting user traffic are getting sneakier and smarter. You might think you are clicking on a story about a baby sloth eating mangos, but when the page loads it is not nearly as cute and most likely infected. This, my friends, is also click fraud.
To learn more about web fraud and how to prevent it, read up on it here.
Lots of love,
Working in the field of PR you get used to emails, typing out thought leadership, and spreading social media. For a dyslexic PR professional like myself, it can be intimidating to think of all the writing and all the opportunities to screw up. Nothing is more embarrassing than talking to a journalist about your client and misspelling something in an email. I mean these people are born grammar Nazis right? Maybe not, but all the same I’ve had to learn some tips and tricks of which I will share below.
- REOL (read-EVERYTHING-out-loud). Reading out loud helps you spot grammatical errors and will help you cut down a wordy pitch. Read it to yourself or a friendly colleague because 4 ears are always better than 2.
- Use your tools. Spellcheck is there to help you! Write your emails out in a word doc before sending anything out. Those red and green lines will save your butt.
- Google. Research what you are talking about. My clients are tech companies with a jargon of their own. I went to art school, so tech talk is neither my first nor my second language. If I’m talking to journalists about my clients they expect me to have an understanding of the field. I Google all the time! Tech jargon, abbreviation meanings and trending topics. Ignorance is not bliss my friend.
Good luck and lots of love,