What is an “Epic Fail”? The term, “FAIL” has become widely used as an Internet trope where people superimpose the word, “FAIL” on images of the unsuccessful, or that which does not live up to what is expected. Usually, these FAILs are intended to make people laugh. In most cases, they are quite funny.
A few years ago, a teacher in the New York City School System faked a jury duty notice to get out of work. Hers was a FAIL because the document she submitted at the school–allegedly a letter from a court–was loaded with enough errors to “red flag” it for further investigation.
Recently, while traversing Roosevelt Avenue in Queens (after some really delicious Bolivian food), I saw a sign above a deli indicating “COFFEE SANDWICHES.” It made me remember another deli awning sign that said ‘ICE COLD BEER SANDWICHES.”
Signs like these are great examples of FAILs. Most people will understand what is meant. In fact, some people may not even notice that there’s something wrong. But for those who do catch the error(s), that business has lost credibility, and when enough believability is lost, customers go elsewhere.
Some FAILs do nothing more than make their creators and/or owners look very, very bad. For some (painful) fun, Google “Tattoo FAILs” and see what mistakes some people have been stuck with (literally).
Speaking of tattoos, one of the FAILs in the Improving Communications Gallery of FAIL (click this link to visit) is an image of the exterior of a second-floor tattoo parlor (also on Roosevelt Avenue), with a neon sign that says“TATTOOS & BODY PIECING.” Yes, the neon sign had the word ‘PIECING” instead of “PIERCING!” That’s a proofreading FAIL for the person at the business who ordered the sign AS WELL AS the sign maker!
The most important thing to remember about these FAILS is that they could have been avoided. With the some good writing knowledge and proofreading skills, these upsetting and money-wasting instances could have been prevented.
Be successful. Avoid the FAIL. Take the Effective Business Writing Course!
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