Saturday, April 14, 2012


I’ve had just enough whining about pixels being inferior to print. I love to hold a musty old book in my hand as much as the next wine-swilling book clubber, but there is one way that pixels beat the page every time, and that time is when you’re standing by the printing press at  2 a.m., and you notice a typo just as the last of your 10,000-quantity-run, four-color brochures comes shooting off the line.

Pixels can be changed, and that, for anyone who has ever had to call the client and explain why their name was misspelled on the cover of the prospectus, is a very good thing.

So why, then, if corrections are infinitely available, do errors so significantly abound? Forget the creative spelling and punctuation excursions of the hairy-eared and frothing online commenters, and just consider a place where you’d think accuracy would be of the highest importance – one’s own LinkedIn profile page. I wrote last summer about my quest to make better use of LinkedIn. In the months since, I’ve seen a lot of profiles. And a lot of mistakes. In the interest of providing a cautionary tale and sending us all to our pages for one more quick read-through, I am presenting these examples from actual profiles I've stumbled upon in the last few months.

These are not arcane little flubs or niggles about semicolon use. They are really dumb mistakes, and many are made in the first two lines of someone’s profile. Really? You don’t have the stamina to do a two-line quality check? You’re clearly CEO material – will $10 million a year be enough as a starting salary?

I’ll start with an easy one, a mistake we’ve all made. Wouldn’t you think LinkedIn could have a spell check that would catch this one?  I mean, how many actual manger manufacturers can there be, outside of the greater Bethlehem metro area, and couldn’t they get an override that would allow the rest of us to stop doing what dear Regenia A. has done:

Regenia A.

Program Manger at Best Buy

Sometimes people just get key happy. Here’s one which leaves me wondering if  the "junior" person is a better speller ...

Seniior Policy Aide at City of Minneapolis

And here’s a guy who really, really needs help: 

Chemicle Depecdency Tecnician at Endeavor Place

When I saw this next one, I actually stopped and thought, "Wait, what's a "roject" manager?"  I thought it was some high-tech thing I had missed the boat on.  Sadly, this guy was out of my network area, so I'll never know what rojects he's managing these days.  Or rejects, for that matter. 


John T.

roject Manager at LHB

Perhaps I've got it all wrong, and he actually works with Mystery Inc.'s gang of meddling kids and their dog, Scooby Doo.  "Roh Roh!  A new Roject! Call John T!"

Some people seem to have some issues with LinkedIn's most basic entry requests, such as correctly inputting one’s first and last name. One day, I got an email that said, “Learn about Weinfurtner, your new connection.” I thought, “Who in the world would name their child Weinfurtner?” Turns out this lady had it mixed up, unless her last name is somehow Tammie. Here’s how it was listed in her profile:

Sometimes people don’t want to settle for a mere two names. I really think, for example, that these two should get together ... together.


Jim Splinter Splinter 

Jody Jody Finkenaur 

And, for that matter,  they might enjoy spending time with

Ilana Ilana

Independent Food & Beverages Professional

After seeing this sort of personal screwing up, I wondered if it extended to corporate entities, as well.  I tried an old eBay trick, the “shandahleer run-around.” Turns out there’s an entire group of shoppers who take advantage of eBay’s lack of spell checking to search for all the misinformed ways someone might spell something they’re posting – say, a chandelier that might be languishing unsold by a seller who doesn’t understand why their perfectly nice shandahleer hasn’t been snapped up yet.

I entered some misspelled names in LinkedIn’s search engine, and what I found was either laughable or sobering, depending on how much you care about the future of the English language and the species in general. I found 28 companies who spelled their company name "Assocaites," including law firms, civil engineers and CPAs.

And there are even a few who can’t get past a second-grade Spelling Bee word like “company.”
Of course, we all make mistakes, especially digital ones, but since they’re so incredibly editable, I’d urge everyone to make a quick resume and profile check, just to make sure they haven’t listed themselves as a “manger” at a terrific “copmany.” If you decide to head to my LinkedIn profile page for some competitive proofreading, and find a typo, please tell me, for God’s sake. (Plus, I just put it in there to see if you were really looking.)

And if you happen to know one of these characters who got LinkedOut today, please, tell them, too.  They need all the friends they can get.

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