I’ve blogged in the past about people who set themselves up as writing consultants or experts, and then make careless grammatical errors in their own blogs or Web sites. I ran across another one this morning, the first mistake in the actual marketing statement for this consulting business. Honestly, are you going to hire a writing consultant who doesn’t know the difference between compliment and complement? I realize there are people out there who don’t know there are in fact two separate words, with unrelated meanings (I corrected a document here at work one day, the author had no idea there were two distinct words), but for cripes sake, if you’re going to bill yourself as a writing consultant you had better be dit-perfect (as we used to say in the Navy, a reference to “chasing ditties,” i.e., copying Morse code).
Here’s an excerpt from the marketing blurb on the front page:
My help begins with my consulting services for the Internet, allowing you to market your business everywhere online. If you want complimentary help, you can also ask for my services in writing and virtual assistant work, allowing me to give you the best in assistance and helping you to get everything you need to build your Internet presence and your business!
I could be wrong, but I’m reasonably certain the second definition in Merriam-Webster for “complimentary”: given free or as a favor, is not what was intended. Perhaps when people start trying to take them up on it they will realize their error. I found the next error in the first line of the blog post, a misworded expression. This is particularly notable since the post in question is internet writing tips for beginning writers. The fifth “tip” is to do a grammar check — using a grammar-checking software program. I hope most writers know better than to rely on those things.
I should probably just be amused by these things, mostly I just want to slap them.