It’s a Saturday and I am at work instead of heading up north to go snowboarding, which is annoying. Because I am annoyed, it’s time for the usual post of things that annoy me.
Going beyond buzzwords, which are always awful, it is annoying when people misuse words and don’t know it. The two most common culprits recently are “fulsome” and “singular” which don’t mean, respectively, “full of” or “single” but actually mean something quite different. So when you say “the client had fulsome praise for your layouts” you are not complimenting me but rather saying that the feedback from the client was offensively flattering or insincere (which, on second thought, it may have been). And when you say something like “the client is looking for another agency for a singular creative project” as Agency Spy reported about Berlin Cameron and Boost Mobile, you aren’t really saying that the client is looking for an agency to do a single project but rather that they client is looking for an agency to do a strange or eccentric project. Which I doubt.
Bozo the Clown typically misuses at least one of these words in any meeting that we are in together and it is as grinding to my senses as fingernails on a chalkboard.
He also has continual grammatical mistakes, the most glaring of which is his misuse of “whom.” Most people, thanks to our poor public education system that thinks that kids learn language and grammar organically, do not know how to correctly choose when to use “whom” or “who.” If that is the case, then just stick with “who” because nine times out of ten it is the correct one to go with and even if it is wrong you don’t sound like the kind of pompous ass who misuses “whom” because he thinks it makes him sound educated.
Also annoying, because there are far too many people at an agency who look at and sign off on a layout to let something like this happen, are typos. Like the one in this ad by Fallon for job site TheLadders.com:
The ad itself I really like, if only because it immediately calls out my major frustration of job sites like monster.com and even more targeted ones like talentzoo. I spend most of my time wading through crap before finding either a job I might be interested in or, lately, someone I think that we should interview.
The strategy is sound, the execution is pretty clever and the headline is functional and, I would imagine, effective.
It’s just that typo…