Trade Show Guru

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Know Lightening? Does Spelling Still Matter?

September 1st, 2013 · 3 Comments · Trade Show Marketing

Does spelling still matter in today’s world? Or should I say, doze spellling stil madder? My wife has been complaining about the growing number of misspellings she sees in the news stories she reads. I haven’t noticed as many, but yesterday I saw a real whopper. I was scanning Google news, and saw a link for a news story about the possibility that the Yosemite Rim fire may have been started by illegal marijuana growers. Having visited and hiked in Yosemite many times, the fire and possible cause of it are of great interest to me, so I clicked through. The news report had the following paragraph in it:

The massive forest fire that has scorched 333 square miles in and around Yosemite National Park may have been sparked by illegal marijuana growers, according to one fire official in Tuolumne County. The San Jose Mercury News reports that Todd McNeal, chief of the Twain Harte Fire Department, told a community meeting that it was “highly suspect that there might have been some sort of illicit grove, a marijuana-grow-type thing.” McNeal, who has 23 years of experience with Forest Service, the National Park Service and other agencies, said at the Aug. 23 meeting that investigators know the fire is human caused since there was know lightening in the area.

I called my wife over to the computer and pointed out the word “know”. How do you confuse “know” with “no” I asked? She then proceeded to point out the next word, “lightening”, and that it is not how one spells “lightning”. Wow! There’s a reason I say my wife is smart, but that’s another post… Anyway, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a great example of poor spelling! And, by the way, I checked the next day, and the story still had the “know lightening” mistake. [update: after I published this post, I checked the news story again, and the spelling error had finally been corrected. Maybe there is still hope for the world…]

It makes me wonder if the younger generation is finally really going to heck in a hand basket, or if I’m just a grumpy old fart. Perhaps both statements are true. I think with the advent of  texting and the lack of proper spelling, that not only are people getting sloppy with their spelling, they also aren’t learning to spell like we did back when I was it school. What do you think, is spelling getting worse these days?

And now the segue from “know lightening” to what spelling has to do with trade shows and trade show marketing. It’s simple. Spelling matters! Make sure you check your spelling on your trade show brochures and especially on your trade show display graphics. And don’t just rely on Microsoft spellcheck, as it would not catch the error of “know lightening”. Don’t embarrass your company with a misspelled word! Check your work.

At the company where I work, we print a lot of trade show graphics. On occasion, we’ll get a design from a customer and notice a spelling error or typo on it before we print a proof. It’s not our job or responsibility to check our customers’ designs, but if we notice a spelling mistake, we let them know. They’re always grateful. But I wonder sometimes if we hadn’t noticed the mistake, would our customer have noticed before we printed the graphics and they set them up at their trade show?

So have you ever been at a trade show and seen a glaring spelling error on a trade show exhibit? Leave a comment and let me know if you have.

And remember, as far as the Trade Show Guru is concerned, spelling still matters. Check your work!


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