Of Manuals and Misspellings

      January 9th, 2010

ProofreaderIn my previous post, I briefly mentioned the nightmare resulting from having my local RainSoft dealer install a whole house filtration system. Now that the system is unfortunately a part of our house, I’m trying to work out the nuts and bolts as we slowly return to normalcy.

As such, I’ve looked at the slim Owner’s Manuals that came with the system. Here are some highlights:

On page 7 of the Owner’s Manual for the “TC-M Conditioner Series Water Treatment System” (Rev: A 06/09) we find,

“If water contains iron, manganese or hydrogen sulfide, a seperate iron removal system is suggested to be installed prior to the conditioner.”

Aside from the awful sentence structure, they misspelled the word, “separate”. This, my friends, is a word that a spell checker easily finds.

A couple paragraphs later on the same page, we have:

“Dain lines over 50 feet long, may need to be increased in size to allow the proper flow.”

That’s right, “Dain lines”. Again, not a word, and something a spell checker would easily find. The comma placement is also wrong.

Is this nitpicky? Perhaps. I don’t go looking for these things, but typically when you find mistakes in manuals they are ones which are not picked up by spell checkers. You know the company put extra minimal effort into a manual when they misspell words like “drain” and “separate”.

I have experience translating and proofreading manuals and, while tedious to write and correct, manuals are important. Many customers do actually read manuals and it reflects poorly on a product or service when the manual is half-assed.

I have not yet read all of the wonderful literature accompanying our new RainSoft system. I just hope they put more care into making their products than they do in their installations and manuals.


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Filed under: Home Equipment, Stupidity by A.B.

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