DEAR MISS MANNERS: Lately, I’ve come across a large number of typos online: e.g. restaurant menus, sites for housecleaning services, etc. Most of them are obvious spelling errors (e.g. “claning” instead of “cleaning”), but occasionally it’s a poor choice of words that makes it very difficult to understand the intended message.
I have, on occasion, made silly errors as well -- for instance, my phone number was incorrect on my resume for years. I’d like to point out the errors, but understand that if the business is a labor of love, the owner might be insulted. How can I provide this feedback without upsetting the recipients?
GENTLE READER: By treading carefully. Miss Manners does not want to make assumptions, but is it possible that some of the authors of these websites are not native English speakers? While they may ultimately benefit from your help, they are not soliciting it. And you are not their employer.
However, that could change. If you feel so moved and are interested in their services, you could send them a direct message saying, “I am seeking a housecleaner, but did not quite understand this listing. Do you mind clarifying what comes with the ‘three-hour Poopie Package’?”