Friday Follies #121 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

Would you hire people who can’t write properly to market your company? Welcome back, fellow grammar ghouls! Today’s post presents a first in the long, illustrious history of Friday Follies: one paragraph containing seven mistakes (not counting typos) – that purports to help you market your wares or services!

This is the offending paragraph exactly as it appears in the ad in a local weekly (I’ve x’ed out their email address):

Running a business today isn’t easy.At many times as the owner you have to wear many hats. Social media marketing should not be one of them. With Facebook and Instagrams new algorithm’s your posts can be harming your post placements and eventually they will not be seen. In other words you can do more damage than good! Let us take care of your social marketing online and you do whats best make money from it!We target your vertical cliental, so 100% of the people that see your ad want your product. E-mail us for details:

Okay, let’s go through this. Remember, I’m ignoring typos; we all make them.


  1. Social media marketing: hyphen-o-phobia: needs a hyphen between Social and media, since it’s a compound adjective modifying the noun marketing: Social-media marketing.
  2. Instagrams: needs an apostrophe: Instagram’s. It’s possessive here: Instagram’s new algorithms! The only exception to this rule are the pronouns its, hers, theirs and whose.
  3. algorithm’s: should NOT have an apostrophe. It is NOT possessive, it’s just a plural: algorithms.
  4. and you do whats best: needs an apostrophe – what’s best. Why? Because here, what’s is a contraction for what is.  It also needs a punctuation mark after best – either a dash such as what’s best – …or a colon would work nicely, as in you do what’s best: make… Speaking of punctuation, a comma after social marketing online would be appropriate.
  5. cliental: Wrong spelling of clientele.
  6. 100% of the people that see your ad: The word that is wrong here; it should be who. The reason is that the clause “who see your ad” describes the noun, people. When you refer to people, you must use who, not that. (That is for inanimate objects.)
  7. My seventh point is for the poor writing overall, e.g.: At many times as the owner you have to wear many hats. Find a synonym for many; there’s no need to repeat a word in such a short sentence, especially when there are dozens of synonyms for it. Use a thesaurus! The poor spelling and grammar, the typos… come on! You are advertising to get clients who will let you do your marketing for them. Would you hire this firm?

I will not be hiring this firm, you can bet on it! I might, however, offer my services to them as an editor or proofreader. Think I should? 😉



18 thoughts on “Friday Follies #121 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

  1. After reading there paragraf many, maney, meni time’s I have come to the con-clusion that they dont’ know no grammer.
    Of course they will target only vertical clientals. Everyone else is horizontal with severe headakes after reading there ad!

    Seriously, are they kidding?? 😀 They need you, Ellie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL!! I think your rendition is better than theirs, frankly! Thanks for the vote of confidence! However, I’m not sure if I actually want to take on the workload this would entail! 😬😁

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Do apply for the job! You should be paid for every comma, hyphen, and apostrophe that is added or corrected. They will be forced to go out of business in two weeks, thus relieving the world of their faulty services.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like your thinking! Er… just one teensy problem. If they go out of business, wouldn’t I then be out of work? Yeah, yeah, I know, it would be worth it just to be spared reading all their so-called “English” content right?


  3. @ Anne Mehrling- Earned but not cashed in. The names and amounts on the cheques/checks would be so badly spelled that the banks wouldn’t cash them! 😀


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s