Monday, December 8, 2008

I've Been Told (or I Got Owned)

photo credit dabawenya

Alternate Title: You say "Stationary"....

For the past few months, I have been venturing out into the blogosphere and occasionally leaving comments on other blogs. I know that I love receiving comments on my posts (hint) and I like to do the same for others.

Up until yesterday, it has been met with great results.

"What happened yesterday?" Well, I'm glad you asked.

I was visiting a blog that is very, very new. Yet, it has a big following. I decided to leave a comment on one of the posts. So, I left a semi-humorous quip and then, after noticing a misspelling in the use of the word "stationary," in a large font in their heading referring to the kind of stationery you write on, I added, "Not to be a stickler, but I think you mean the kind of stationery with the "ery."

I checked back a few hours later and one of the writers for the site replied,and I quote:

"Thanks Carma, but please read this:
A look at Internet search patterns indicates that more users search for stationary than stationery (see table). This ranges from over twice as many searches for “email stationary” than “email stationery” to an approximately 6% preference for “business stationary” over “business stationery”.
Hence the reason I used ’stationary.’ Thanks for stopping by

It included a hyperlink to the following table:

A look at Internet search patterns indicates that more users search for stationary than stationery (see table). This ranges from over twice as many searches for "email stationary" than "email stationery" to an approximately 6% preference for "business stationary" over "business stationery".

stationary stationery
email 67.8 32.2
wedding 60.4 40.6
personalized 55.2 44.8
business 53.7 46.3

Under the table was this sentence: It's probably about time to return to an early age and correctly spell the word as stationary.

I'll admit that I was a bit taken aback by her response. Way to make me feel like a buffoon!!

Also interesting was the "dumbing down" of the spelling to cater to the masses...

I was still smarting this morning, but my spirits lifted when I checked back and saw the following comment from another reader later in the day:

"I have to tell you: I’m holding the AP Stylebook open in front of me, and it’s supposed to be “stationery”. (sorry, I’m a copy-editing nerd.)"

Can't wait to see what kind words the reply contained.

I will not allow this blip on my blogging radar to deter me from further comments, but rest assured, they will be on other sites!

Your thoughts?


Mad Asthmatic said...

I am glad you aren't going to let that comment get you down or stop you from commenting. It is quite a step to start commenting on other blogs - well I found it so but I like to comment as it is a way of
a) promoting my own blog
b) letting the blogger know you have stopped by and read the post
c) challenging the blogger to expand on a topic buy questioning what they have written
or sometimes I just want to say hi.

carma said...

Hi MA,
I agree with you on the benefits of commenting and I shall not be deterred!! I'm stubborn that way :)

Eva Lyford said...

You're right. SEO doesn't require dumbing down of content to go with what the masses say, otherwise would be more widely read than I go witht he rule of thumb that what's visible should be correct and that the SEO optimization can occur in the background.

Karen said...

I think we need to use the correct spelling either way and good for you for pointing the obvious mistake out. No point to dumb the world down anymore than it already is....

carma said...

Eva and Karen-- Glad to have you both in agreement with me on this!

Kyle said...

I know what you mean. Even though it is the more searched for term, you should still spell everything correctly. Even Google will correct common misspellings like that.

I work for and this is a trend we have picked up on. That is why we have designed our website to accept both spellings of the word, but all content and the user sees is Stationery.

carma said...

Kyle - thank you for making my day! If your STATIONERY company is able to find a way around the problem, while still spelling the word correctly, then I rest my case :)

Ilina said...

I am a grammar and punctuation stickler so hats off to you! I cannot tolerate any more dumbing down.

carma said...

Ilina, thanks for visiting and for weighing in on the "side of sanity"- I appreciate it!

faryl said...

Hi Carma! Finally got to visit your blog (since you've been a much welcomed guest at mine!).

I for one am glad you decided not to let that deter you from commenting elsewhere. I used to be a huge lurker and now try to comment whenever I pop by a site, just to let them know I appreciate what they've shared.

In my opinion, that just shows a big ego and/or small self esteem on the part of the blogger who felt the need to correct you that way.

(I'd be offended as one of her readers that she felt compelled to dumb things down for me too!)

Feel free to comment and correct my spelling/grammar any time you want!!

carma said...

Hi Faryl,
Glad you stopped by and provided an opinion on my comment dilemma. As you can see from my comments on your site, I'm still commenting..I guess it's hard to shut me up :) I enjoy your blog.

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