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Errors on a Hawaiian Holiday

We have returned from a heavenly week of vacation on the island of Hawaii. Warm weather, relaxation, the tropical landscape, and the Hawaiian people were grand.

Although I wasn't working, I could not stop my eyes from spotting written errors. Here are four interesting ones to remind us of the need for proofreading:

  • On a hotel's restaurant menu: harsh brown potatoes [I tasted them, so I know the sign was wrong!]

  • On another hotel's restaurant menu: pancake's and maple syrup

  • In a small museum, on a description of buildings: thash roofs

  • At an elegant, world-class spa, in a description of a massage: the warm and cook feelings of the stones [should have been cool feelings]

Now let's not be smug. These are perfect reminders of the need for a fresh set of proofreading eyes. If I could catch the errors in my carefree holiday mood, no doubt another worker in the restaurants, museum, and spa could have done so too. Let's all ask our colleagues for proofreading favors.


Syntax Training

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By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English.

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