Spotted in a press release by one of the writers in our care before it reached the engine room: "Vehicle maintenance can be a headache for small businessmen and women." Funny, you'd think vertically challenged businessmen, or women, would be less likely to bang their heads when crawling beneath vehicles than their taller colleagues.
The PR person responsible for this howler can almost be forgiven – if a business is run by a businessman (or woman) then a small business...
What's more worrying to those of us trying to hold the line against a tide of sloppy usage is that the release came from a large company, which presumably employs large PR people, and certainly has a large PR team. Someone should have noticed.
But spare a thought for the PR person, of whatever size, who sent in a release from an oil company which described the author of a report as the "heavy duty marketing manager". Yes, it's logical that the person in charge of marketing lubrication products for heavy-duty vehicles should be called the heavy duty marketing manager. But we wonder what the woman who holds that post thinks of her job title?
We flipped her job title to refer to her as the marketing manager for heavy-duty lubricants and hope her bosses take the hint.
The ambiguous Oxford comma
1 week ago