Last year, we took it upon ourselves to evaluate the quality of the presidential candidates’ online content using our linguistic analytics engine. In the process, we noted that Donald Trump’s content didn’t perform particularly well relative to his competitors. And while he did go on to win the election, what’s interesting is that he and his administration are starting to pay the price for their often sloppy content. In fact, they’re regularly getting lampooned by everyone from the media, to late night television hosts, to Merriam Webster.
Admittedly, Trump, who’s known for his extensive activity on Twitter, isn’t exactly a stickler for correct spelling. He’s tweeted that he was “honered” to serve as the 45th President of the United States (a mistake that he’s made more than once) and how he recently “playef gold” with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He’s also tweeted that China’s stealing of an underwater drone in the South China Sea was “unpresidented,” an issue that was then corrected.
Here’s just one example of a recent Tweet from the President that’s littered with typos:
And it’s not just Trump who’s having trouble. His Counselor and former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway has been mocked for using the nonsensical concept of “alternative facts,” while the White House Press Secretary erroneously referred to the Prime Minister of Canada as Joe Trudeau. Meanwhile, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been criticized for her own carelessness on Twitter, as one follower pointed out by publicly correcting her:
Plus, under DeVos’s leadership, the Department of Education misspelled the name of civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois in a Tweet on February 13. Thirty minutes later, it issued the following apology after catching its mistake, which, of course, includes one of its own:
Even Trump’s official inauguration poster, shown below, features a glaring typo.
All of this begs the question, what’s going on here? The answer is carelessness. It’s easy enough for anyone to make the occasional typo, especially on social platforms like Twitter.
All politics aside, as content geeks, this isn’t something we take lightly. A typo here or a misused word there, is one thing. But when it’s pervasive, it sends a message that you don’t care about the details or the quality of what you’re doing. And just as that’s not good for your brand, it’s also not good for a country’s reputation. In this case, it’s so bad that Merriam Webster has even gone so far as to start trolling President Trump’s Twitter account:
Where things will go from here is anyone’s guess; but our suggestion to the President is that he and his administration start using Acrolinx. Our content optimization platform is an easy way to ensure that all of your content is correct, consistent, and on-brand. Not only that, you don’t need to be a billionaire, or have the purchasing power of the US government, to afford it.