Three Quick Tips for Error-Free Signs

Do you ever have to post informal signs at work? Maybe it's to announce that an elevator is out of order or a meeting has been cancelled. Maybe it’s to direct guests to a conference room. Although informal, hundreds of people can see such signs. What impression do they make?

Sign_to_proofread_businesswritingblog.comThe other day I visited a large store to check its lost and found area. I had lost my winter gloves. Waiting in line to speak to a customer service person, I read this sign, which hung in several places.

 

No doubt many people found errors in this sign. Did you? Feel free to share them in a comment. 

Applying three quick tips could have eliminated the errors: 

  • Capitalize for a reason, not randomly.
  • Run a grammar and spelling check, no matter how short the message. It takes about 10 seconds and should catch misspelled words.
  • Ask a coworker to check your punctuation and make sure things make sense. 

In case you are wondering, the store issued fishing and hunting licenses. That's the "Fish & Game" reference. 

Few people would judge the large store I visited based on its sign. But that's not always the case. An error-filled sign could cause a visitor to lose confidence in a business's ability to communicate and its attention to detail.  

If you like finding errors and thinking about ways to revise signs, these blog posts are for you: 

How Would You Revise This Sign?

Poop Sign to Punctuate

Another Sign for You to Proofread

This Sign Needs Help

Signs That Need Your Proofreader's Eye

 

Here are two good courses for better signs–and better writing: Proofread Like a Pro and Punctuation for Professionals

Lynn
Syntax Training

4 COMMENTS

  1. I have made signs like this before. In their defense, they probably hit at the end of each line and MS Word automatically capitalizes the first letter when it thinks it ‘s a new sentence. No doubt that a more attentive proofreading would have caught all the mistakes in this sign.

    Thank you for the post!

  2. I see signs like this all of the time. A manager should check signage. Of course, if this example got by several people, I doubt the veracity of everyone up to and including the CEO. I’d be sure to send a copy to the CEO, and Chairman of the Board and have a little fun with their heads.

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