People are human. They make mistakes. They get tongue-tied. Their brains sometimes get ahead of their mouths. As we all know, given the choice, as Jerry Seinfeld once put it, between being in the box or giving the eulogy, most people would prefer to be in the box!
I once produced two television programs and hosted one of them. The first time I was on live television I looked like a deer caught in headlights. I was praying for death. After a few weeks I was no longer nervous. I was enjoying myself.
Not everyone is good at making speeches. And even those who are sometimes say the wrong thing – Democrats and Republicans alike! Sarah Palin says “refudiate” and Barak Obama pronounces “corps,” “corpse.” Most shockingly of all, when I was interviewing a New York State senator about prescription medication costs for seniors, I asked about pharmaceutical company “copyrights” instead of “patents.”
My pet-peeve is the title of this posting. “None” means “no one.” It’s singular, not plural. It’s “none is” not “none are.”
We all make mistakes. Those who will never be on camera, those who will never be in the public eye, those who will always be followers and not leaders, and those who make their living criticizing others, will always be happy to point out the faults of others. It says more about them than their targets.
When a candidate is on a job interview they can relax. Most employers recognize the fact that interviewees are nervous. A few grammatical errors will be forgiven – but only a few, and only during the interview.
I have had clients lose job offers because of the errors (spelling and grammatical) in their thank you letters. I can only assume that some candidates never get called because of mistakes on their resumes and cover letters. If you remember nothing else remember this: Prufreed! Prufread! Proofreed!
Oh, and remember one more thing: We can’t all be Churchills!