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Would you correct / point out a spelling error on Social Media

or is that bitchy?

One of my all time favorite "better" restaurants just updated their status with what could be a careless spelling error or an auto correct. It was in the line of lose/loose, there/their, etc. Based on so many peoples reactions to bad spelling I was thinking they could lose business .

Would you say something?

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    1. No, but I would count it against them. If they can't be bothered to proofread their advertising, with what else are they sloppy/careless? If the error costs them customers, it's their just deserts. (BTW, it IS deserts, from the French, and not desserts. But that eggcorn error is so common that I'd let that particular one slide.)

      2 Replies
      1. re: greygarious

        If you don't mind me asking, how would you "count it against them"?

        1. re: jrvedivici

          Well, unless a restaurant or other business does something flagrantly dishonest/wrong the first time I go there, they'll get my repeat business. Your hypothetical example would be a few straws on the camel's back. I don't have a set limit but if they keep accumulating, the establishment will join my "fecal roster".

      2. Our local co-op's newsletter had too many errors for me to ignore. I sent them a nice email and they were very grateful. And when I'm available I help proofread. So, yeah, I'd let them know.

        2 Replies
        1. re: c oliver

          I've often thought about offering that service to newsletters I like. There's one I love that's grammaticaly correct most of the time, but the sentences are long- REALLY long, and they've yet to use a comma.

          1. re: EWSflash

            And it drives you to drink, huh? I feel your pain....

        2. Yea, kinda bitchy, unless it is a recurring error....that would grate on me enough to say something, politely of course. But who hasn't made a spelling error or been a victim of the dreaded autocorrect?

          4 Replies
          1. re: Dirtywextraolives

            I don't see it as unkind at all when it's a business, especially if it's in a context that's going to be repeatedly seen. I'd think it's a favor.

            1. re: c oliver

              It's not unkind to point it out, but it just depends on the tone of the "helpful" advice...... Some people get offended when they are corrected, whether they are in the wrong or not.

              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                Depends on the situation. A local restaurant sent some people a copy of their opening menu to get some feedback on their dishes. They all looked rather appealing, except for the side dish that was spelled at least 2 different ways throughout the menu. I did point out the error to them because, frankly, it would have made the restaurant look stupid if they couldn't even spell the names of their dishes on their menu. They were grateful.

                Would I do the same on Facebook or Twitter? No. Unfortunately, proper spelling and grammar is a thing of the past in those venues.

                1. re: rockycat

                  Oh yes. You're correct in my book. Spelling & grammatical errors in print or on screen drive me batty. But I blame it on the Virgo in me. Not everyone can be perfect at spelling ;)

          2. On Twitter? No. It's likely that the person updating was doing so on a phone, and twitter is kind of ephemeral. It would be weirder in Twitter cultural terms for them to go back and post a new version of it than it is for them to simply leave it be.

            If it was on their website or another more permanent platform, I might send a nice email saying 'Hey, noticed a typo I thought you might want to correct.'

            8 Replies
            1. re: Jacquilynne

              Yep, that's the context I was referring to definitely.

              1. re: Jacquilynne

                It would be more weird to see a tweet pointing out a spelling error on a prior tweet.

                  1. re: ipsedixit


                    The curriculum of a school that teaches English to Brazilian children has them tweet to celebrities correcting the grammatical and spelling errors in the stars' tweets.

                    Though it's not really fair play because the 140-character limit forces "creative" spelling choices by those who know what's correct, it's a great way to get the kids interested in learning proper English.

                  2. re: Jacquilynne

                    >>"If it was on their website or another more permanent platform, I might send a nice email saying 'Hey, noticed a typo I thought you might want to correct.'"<<

                    Exactly what I'd do. Proof-reading doesn't always get done, or done correctly. If I were the owner, I'd appreciate it.

                    1. re: Midlife

                      Proof-reading is a talent that is so often dismissed, or overlooked.

                      Though I got A's and B's in English and in Journalism, and have written many technical manuals, I could not live without a good one. All the SpellChecks, and GrammarChecks in the world, are not up to the task.

                      When I design a Web site, I rely on one particular person, who is possibly the most anal, to have ever lived. However, I know that if she passes on something, it is good.

                      I still pull out my API Style Sheets, my various dictionaries and even my Encyclopedia Britannia, but she usually catches something.

                      Since I am not even 25% as good as she, I seldom offer corrections, unless it's to the sommelier, for the wine list. Then, usually in good fun - "Louis Jadot is not spelled Jado."


                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                        Just discovered the API materual a few months ago. Great reference for almost any business. Do you know how long it's been available to the general public? I wish I'd known about it 30 years ago. No....... 40..

                  3. Probably not, but I'd sure want to.

                    1. I wouldn't comment and it really wouldn't bother me in the least unless it was a repeat issue. Then I might make a joke of it...."maybe turn on the spell check" or " u suk at speling " or something like that.

                      1. Generally not, because I think most people don't notice or care. Facebook is all about bragging, people don't want to be corrected or brought down. OTOH, a restaurant I follow recently posted on FB about buying seafood direct from the fishermen, passing through "as little hands as possible". I wanted to say something snarky about how it sounds like they support child labor, but I didn't. I'm sure everyone knew they meant as few hands as possible, no need to embarrass them. I suppose a private message would be appropriate for egregious errors, but posting a correction in the comments seems too much like public shaming.

                        Weird, because I'm someone who does get annoyed by errors, and am the designated proofreader at work.

                        1. Yes, I am cursed by my past life as a proof reader. Spelling and grammar mistakes leap out at me.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: Motosport

                            And well they should. You have a gift, and do not forget that.


                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                              And I where that their gift as a badge of honor!!

                            2. re: Motosport

                              See, you think they do, but sometimes it's worse with your own writing. I do see errors in usage like a sore tongue when it's someone else, and I'm pretty aggressive about my own writing. But I have a self-generated assessment that I have used for 3 YEARS that I just recently noted had a their-there mistake. I don't show it to other people, but I have read it aloud upwards of 500 times. Your brain knows what you personally meant to say, and it covers for you, so I can see where an offer of proofreading from an outside source might be appreciated. I absolutely would have noticed in someone else's writing.

                              I think that offer of proofreading might be appropriate if it is a high-cost place or you know the owner or it is a one-time issue. On the other hand, in some times leaving it alone is a viable choice. There is a local 2-store mini-chain vegetable market that is a constant abuser of quote marks. Their sign will constant say "'Fresh' Lettuce'" or "'Green' Peppers'" when there is no irony or quoting involved. They existed for 10 years before I knew about them, their employees love them, they sell good food at a cheap price, and I'm gonna let the random quotes go.

                              1. re: ErnieD

                                While I've gotten quite lazy about proofreading, allowing technology to catch my glitches (or not), I actually was paid to proofread while working my way through college. We were instructed to "read" backwards, allowing the brain not to get caught up in the sentences, but individual words. Would still work if I didn't get old and lazy!

                                1. re: ErnieD

                                  While vacationing at some beach front Mexican town I saw a sign: "T-Shits 3 for $10."
                                  I went into the store and did my best to explain the error in my poor Spanish. The vendor thought I wanted a better deal and kept telling me "NO, 3 for $10!"

                              2. I did email a restaurant promotion company once that the posting they had for an event they were publicizing for a big name, recently gone Philly restaurant had a guest chef's name misspelled. They appreciated my letting them know.

                                1. I only correct people who put themselves forth as writers/editors. Even then, some have been clueless about the errors I've pointed out. One even was cheeky enough to ask me to preview her posts -- gratis, of course.

                                  Proofreading is a lost art, and I am cursed with a good education and eye for detail.

                                  1. I had this happen to me tonight and I was so grateful. I am putting on a fundraising dinner tomorrow night and have been using FaceBook to promote the event. Tonight I sent out my last reminder and I made an error on the address of the location. A friend of mine saw it within about a minute of my posting and let me know right away. That enabled to post a correction in the first comment, hopefully ensuring everyone who reads the post will see my comment.

                                    I am incredibly appreciative of the correction!

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: jlhinwa

                                      Correcting incorrect information definitely falls into a different category for me. If someone's spelling doesn't make a difference in whether people can understand a tweet / status, then it doesn't *need* to be corrected, but wrong information that might lead people to the wrong place or the right place at the wrong time is something that *needs* to be fixed.

                                      1. re: jlhinwa

                                        This, I could not agree more with. My brother's wedding invitation had a 1-digit error in the address. It was at a beach house that no one had ever been too, and was also somehow recognized as existing by both GPS and MapQuest. No one was able to point it out until everyone started to get lost and we had to establish a string of people waving everyone down to the correct spot. He would have done anything short of kicking his cat in the head not to deal with that, so I think noting a factual lack of correction is probably well-appreciated in many cases. If you just want to say that someone's use of "Paninis" or "with au jus" is wrong, you may not be received with complete pleasure.

                                      2. Well, there's also the issue of private correction (eg an email directly to the restaurant or business) vs. public correction/castigation (eg posting a comment for all to read). If you wouldn't say it in front of a group of people, you shouldn't post it. Send a private message, and politely point out the error. No need for a public shaming.

                                        1. Hell yes! I think as a society we're becoming watered down, and learning to settle for mediocrity. How about some attention to fucking detail? I don't care if it's a tweet, a status update, washing a dish, whatever. Take a little personal responsibility, pride and do it right. Do NOT blame auto correct or your stupid ass phone. Do NOT let the dumb asses take over!

                                          1. As with most of the responses it depends on the situation. I am pretty anal about spelling and language usage. I would not correct someone if it would hurt them.

                                            I do some proof reading of cookbooks and recipe testing. When doing that I am very meticulous. When I retired from the retail business the person who stepped into my position cannot spell and is pretty bad with written grammar. He puts out store announcements of FB and I always scan them and if I find errors the old... their, there, they're types of errors I send him a note directly. I does not look good for the store to have sloppy announcements.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Candy

                                              The person I am referring to above, yesterday announced that he had ordered to new I-phones.

                                            2. Two recent situations, with different outcomes:

                                              1. a b&b: designed with a Victorian decor. Instead of the intended "genteel" in their wording, had "gentile." They didn't get it when I pointed that out.

                                              2. medical/psychology CE course: advertising their expertise in a government regulation, which they misspelled throughout. I pointed it out; they offered the course for free and made the changes, pronto.

                                              May not return to the b&b, but I signed up for more courses from the CE company as a paying customer.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: pine time

                                                I wonder whether or not the B&B was trying on a French affectation with "gentil"...

                                                1. re: KarenDW

                                                  Possibly, but nothing else was in the French manner. I just thought them clueless.

                                                2. re: pine time

                                                  #2 wasn't, by any chance, a "HIPPA" course? that has been driving me batty since the law was passed...

                                                  1. re: truman

                                                    Yup! When the law was new, various workplaces that I saw used a cartoony hippopotamus as a visual aid, which just added to the abbreviation mess. When the CE course touted its expertise in HIPPA, it lost credibility to me, but they were so gracious in correcting it. I was the HIPAA compliance officer in the psych. corp. where I worked, so I was extra vigilant to be sure our stuff was correctly written.

                                                3. Depends on how it's done. Frankly, were I in business, I'd welcome a politely offered proofreading assist.

                                                  There are two things at work here. First, the accuracy proofreading your own work declines markedly with the increase in volume and velocity of what you are writing. Second, technology has made us more casual about typographical errors, which accelerates the first thing.

                                                  I have been an editor, so I value proofreaders. And editors (a dying breed).