The latest internet marketers’ goof

rogersgeorge on September 18th, 2009

Internet marketers are infamous for being careless about their writing. They say, “Hubba hubba, get the message out, don’t get hung up on the details” (I’m not quoting anyone, but this is a common message). Ever hear the saying, “The devil is in the details”? When you are careless about little things, you advertise (true or not) that you are careless about big things.

This seems to be the mistake du jour:

Peek—to look at something, especially in a secretive manner. A Staples ad in my inbox has it right: They want me to take a sneak peek at their latest ad. I’m not distracted by any bad writing, so I’m free to be curious. Maybe I’ll take a look when I finish this tirade against  people shooting themselves in the foot.

Peak—The top of a mountain, the best of something. I see an email subject at this moment: the guy wants me to peak at some DNA. Its PEEK, folks!

Pique—to arouse, especially interest or curiosity. One doofus recently wanted to peek my interest in his product. Not from an illiterate, thanks.

These are second-grade words (okay, maybe “pique” is ninth grade). Advertise your products, not your ignorance!


I hope you have something to say about this. Leave a comment. If you’re motivated to improve your writing, fill in the form on the right to learn some ways to make sure you don’t commit these atrocities.

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