Saturday, April 07, 2012

A Letter of Variable Interest

Wow, check this out: the President of RBC Global Asset Management is writing to me!

As much as I hate to get all red-pencil pedantic with my new pen pal , I think there are few hiccups here.

The opening sentence begins:
As a valued client, we are pleased to offer you...
So who's the valued client here? Once again, our syntactical orientation is discombobulated by a fiendish dangler. (What's a dangler and why does it hurt to get smacked with one? I refer you here, here, and here.)

On to the next sentence:
Many clients prefer to view their reports online, however, we will continue to mail printed copies to those clients who request them.
The marriage of those two sentences is even more awkward and grotesque than the Julia Roberts-Lyle Lovett coupling. Here's a nickel, Mr. President. Go buy yourself a period.

Next sentence:
If you wish to receive a printed copy of the reports, for the funds you currently invest in, please complete the detachable postage-paid reply card...
I don't know where that superfluous first comma wandered in from, but I'll bet I'm paying for it with some kind of service charge or another.

But perhaps the most conspicuous--and most mirth-giving--error occurs right up front with the salutation:
Dear Investor
I mean, really. My "investments" consist of a flaccid retirement account that is propped up by monthly contributions from my empty wine bottle redemptions. Which makes me an "investor" the same way my three-year-old's Easy-Bake Oven makes him a chef.

Monday, April 02, 2012

The Name's Noah Webster--I'm Here for My Reading

Oh, dear. It appears, judging from this garish sandwich board sign occupying sidewalk space on our local main thoroughfare, that one of those elaborately-scarved, morally-bankrupt soothsayer fraudsters has unpacked her scented candles and patchouli oils and set up shop in our neighborhood.

When Angela writes "set back" she is, of course, trying to conjure up the noun "setback." But hey, she's a sideshow con artist, not a writer. Similarly, it would be uncharitable to point out the simple typo in "you life," which is why I'm pointing it out. (I've just never felt very charitable toward elaborately-scarved fraudsters.)

But really, Angela--"Ruin Stones"? If you can't get that right, you are going to give your profession a bad name and "rune" it for all the other, more orthographically diligent, small-time hustlers and pernicious beady-eyed swindlers.