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Renewed Investor

People can't write properly anymore

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I've mentioned before on here that I am a small business owner. I used to mostly just do business with local companies but over the past year I've been doing more business online and more business with the general public as opposed to just other businesses. Overall this has been good for me, my income has more than doubled but there are a few things that annoy me about dealing with the general public and my number one gripe is people just cannot write properly anymore.

 

For example, I have to correct the addresses of more than 50% of all orders. This is shocking to me, I spend so much time now googling addresses that just don't sound right. We are not talking slight mistakes here, I mean people totally mispelling their street names and giving incorrect post codes. How can you not know your own address?!?!

 

I started googling the address of every order after a string of complaints of undelivered orders, and despite ALL these missing orders being the fault of the customer giving incorrect or incomplete details, I had to fork out the money to replace them and send them to the correct addresses. Now on to the complaints themselves, all but a tiny handful were written in coherent english. I'd estimate 90%+ were written in "text speak" and contained profanities wrapped up in poorly written colloquialism as if they were having a heated argument with a mate of theirs. What happened to manners and politeness? Would these people write in this manner to say a Government body to request a legal form? God help any of the older folks trying to read it, I'm 26 and barely made sense of most of these emails.

 

Now what is it I do for a living then? What is it I sell? I make signs and labels mostly, almost all of which are bespoke and this is where the inability to write becomes a problem too. I am constantly having to correct the text on orders. People mix up "There", "They're" and Their" all the time, 90% of orders I'd say. A few new ones that popped up solely from doing business with the public now are things like writing "Pure" as "Pua", "Nothing" as "Noffin" or "Noffink", "Where" as "Wear" or "Ware". There's more but those are the ones I deal with most, especially the last 2. The first one, "Pure" doesn't come up that often actually but it was just fresh in my mind as I just got done finishing a sign for someone for their garden/yard gate I am assuming. The guy ordered a small sign and wanted "bewear - pua lefal dog" engraved on it. Despite how few details I have about this guy I can generate a pretty good picture of him in my mind. Oh well, at least this gig pays well LOL.

 

Just wanted to rant and get this off my chest. I'd say that poor spelling and grammar add at least an extra 5 - 6 hours of work to my work week at the moment and it is really boiling my p1ss.

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14 minutes ago, Renewed Investor said:

The guy ordered a small sign and wanted "bewear - pua lefal dog" engraved on it.

Do your customers get exactly the spelling they've asked for?

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6 minutes ago, CunningPlan said:

Oh the irony!.

Yoo new this woz going to appen, didnt yu.

LOL! Yes, I knew I'd probably make a stupid error or two given how fast I typed this up.

3 minutes ago, hotairmail said:

Last I saw, '1' is not in the alphabet either. ;-)

I wasn't sure if it would let me type that word so I changed the "i" to a "1"

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Yep, grammar skills in general seem to be terrible too, even among some folk who are middle/higher management. I've had a few occasions where I was talking to people a rank or two above me and they've used 'done' when they should have said 'did'; basic stuff like that.

I don't consider myself to be especially intelligent but the ability to write well is getting rarer and rarer. Innit?

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35 minutes ago, Renewed Investor said:

Overall this has been good for me, my income has more than doubled

You want a semicolon or a conjunction instead of that comma.

;)

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21 minutes ago, Renewed Investor said:

I email them asking for clarity before I make anything looks like it could be a mistake.

I knew a tattooist who would make people sign a declaration of what they wanted tattooed.  This was because of people who couldn't spell their own children's names or didn't know their correct dates of birth blaming him for their mistakes.

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3 minutes ago, Will! said:

I knew a tattooist who would make people sign a declaration of what they wanted tattooed.  This was because of people who couldn't spell their own children's names or didn't know their correct dates of birth blaming him for their mistakes.

Good move! Bad spelling means I'll not be bidding on EBay for whatever it was that I thought I wanted.:huh:

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What do you sell these people ? That would be interesting to know. You don't have to go into too much detail. 

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I am in a similar business - lots of things need typesetting correctly for individuals and businesses. I have to say that my customers are pretty good - but they are mainly older people.

My biggest difficulty is that I like to address replies as 'Dear Mr' or 'Dear Mrs' but no one gives you any clue anymore. The hardest are foreign names where I don't have a scooby if they are male or female.  

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6 minutes ago, Will! said:

I knew a tattooist who would make people sign a declaration of what they wanted tattooed.  This was because of people who couldn't spell their own children's names or didn't know their correct dates of birth blaming him for their mistakes.

That's a smart move on his part, especially with the number of people just spontaneously deciding to get a tattoo these days without planning it out.

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21 minutes ago, CunningPlan said:

I am in a similar business - lots of things need typesetting correctly for individuals and businesses. I have to say that my customers are pretty good - but they are mainly older people.

My biggest difficulty is that I like to address replies as 'Dear Mr' or 'Dear Mrs' but no one gives you any clue anymore. The hardest are foreign names where I don't have a scooby if they are male or female.  

You should address them as Citizen, like Judge Dredd does.:mellow:

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28 minutes ago, ccc said:

What do you sell these people ? That would be interesting to know. You don't have to go into too much detail. 

Door signs, garden gate signs, keyrings with custom engraving, pet tags and a few other things.

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32 minutes ago, Renewed Investor said:

That's a smart move on his part, especially with the number of people just spontaneously deciding to get a tattoo these days without planning it out.

Surely tattoos have always been the spontaneous thing (thinking sailors dropping off for shore leave, that sort of thing).

1 hour ago, Renewed Investor said:

Now what is it I do for a living then? What is it I sell? I make signs and labels mostly, almost all of which are bespoke and this is where the inability to write becomes a problem too. I am constantly having to correct the text on orders. People mix up "There", "They're" and Their" all the time, 90% of orders I'd say. A few new ones that popped up solely from doing business with the public now are things like writing "Pure" as "Pua", "Nothing" as "Noffin" or "Noffink", "Where" as "Wear" or "Ware". There's more but those are the ones I deal with most, especially the last 2. The first one, "Pure" doesn't come up that often actually but it was just fresh in my mind as I just got done finishing a sign for someone for their garden/yard gate I am assuming. The guy ordered a small sign and wanted "bewear - pua lefal dog" engraved on it. Despite how few details I have about this guy I can generate a pretty good picture of him in my mind. Oh well, at least this gig pays well LOL.

I've mentioned before that I wonder about these mistakes.  I can't read a sentence with a their instead of a they're without having to go back and re-read to understand it, but others seem to just let it fly by them.  It is almost as if there are two ways of reading/writing, one which is primarily visual (where the erroneous spelling is immediately apparent) and the other which is primarily vocal ('voice in the head' when reading) where the error isn't noticed at all.

Anyway, funnily enough, I've just got back from teacher feedback evening at the school where they were going on about child #2 having to use a colon vs semicolon to separate out two independent clauses.  He is ten.  I remember last year getting my father (70ish, private school education, was a professional when working) to type out something on the browser, and needing a colon (unusual port):

'Where's that'

'Shift semi-colon'

'What's one of them?'

'Full stop above a comma, you know, to separate out two clauses in a sentence'

'Full stop above a comma?  No such thing.'

'Find the enter key, then work three keys to the left.' (Just pressing enter is hard enough -- 'press enter', 'presenter?', 'no, press enter', 'enter - don't know what you're talking about')

'Oh yes.  Never seen one of those before.'

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29 minutes ago, CunningPlan said:

My biggest difficulty is that I like to address replies as 'Dear Mr' or 'Dear Mrs' but no one gives you any clue anymore. The hardest are foreign names where I don't have a scooby if they are male or female.  

Same here, I just start every email with "Hi there" or "Hello there" if I don't have a clue.

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3 minutes ago, Renewed Investor said:

Same here, I just start every email with "Hi there" or "Hello there" if I don't have a clue.

You are too nice to sweep the filth off the streets of Mega-City 1.

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A friend of mine does some recruiting for his department. One candidate, whose CV looked promising misspelt the name of her employer on at least 3 occasions. The spelling was different each time.

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I have needed to employ several graduate graphic designers in my time. A few years back, out of a cohort of 10 interviewees, we asked them all to send in a piece that showed their style. Only one did not have a spelling mistake. Including the guy that sent in a poster with only six words on it  - one of which was wrong.

Proof reading is a large part of my job.  I also have an email address that is very similar to half a dozen schools. I get sent lots of CV's, and always laugh (actually grimmace)  at the quality of the ones from English teachers. If they can't get their CV correct what hope is there?

P.S. Spyguy seems to be strangely absent from this thread.

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1 hour ago, Renewed Investor said:

I've mentioned before on here that I am a small business owner. I used to mostly just do business with local companies but over the past year I've been doing more business online and more business with the general public as opposed to just other businesses

Let's hope that you find a thesaurus among your Christmas presents this year...

;)

 

XYY

 

                                                                                                               

The dog's kennel is not the place to keep a sausage - Danish proverb

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Im watching.. from afar.

Its not so much my spelling, which is fine.

On broad writing skills - I have multiple copies of Strunk + White, read Chig. Book of Style a few times and I write and maintain some large documents.

My tablets touch system is fcked.

I struggle with cheap kybds - and no kybds at all!

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3 minutes ago, MattW said:

A friend of mine does some recruiting for his department. One candidate, whose CV looked promising misspelt the name of her employer on at least 3 occasions. The spelling was different each time.

I must admit I spelt someone's surname wrong when I first met them. I was at Uni and was doing some art work for a local school and the teacher I had to submit to was named "Mr Gibben" and he had a bit of a temper to say the least. Anyway, I had never seen his name spelt, only heard it pronounced and I thought it was "Gibbon" and so that is what I wrote on my submission form. I discovered after submitting my work that his name was not spelt that way and I spent the entire presentation day hoping he wouldn't notice the spelling and go bananas on me.

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1 hour ago, CunningPlan said:

I am in a similar business - lots of things need typesetting correctly for individuals and businesses. I have to say that my customers are pretty good - but they are mainly older people.

My biggest difficulty is that I like to address replies as 'Dear Mr' or 'Dear Mrs' but no one gives you any clue anymore. The hardest are foreign names where I don't have a scooby if they are male or female.  

Iadis Farkenjarb

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