When we write, we know exactly what we’re trying to communicate. But because that message is so clear to us while we’re writing, we forget to step back and review our words from the point of view of a typical reader. What might they not understand? What might they misconstrue?
Here are three unintentionally funny examples from actual church newsletters:
1. “Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.”
2. “The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.”
3. “Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.”
Before you send or publish or otherwise share anything you’ve written, take a step back. Review it from a reader’s point of view. Try to forget what you meant to communicate and examine what’s actually there on the page. You might be surprised.