FRIDAY FRUMP: EVERYONE wants to be an influencer

These days, it seems that everyone wants to be an influencer. But it's not as easy as it may seem.  Even some people who could legitimately be called "influential" seem to stumble when it comes to influencing.

In the series, "Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy," actor/host Stanley Tucci does a great job of providing a glimpse into the different foods of the country's different regions. Not to be outdone, actor Eva Longoria hosts "Searching for Mexico." An American of Mexican ancestry, she is a pleasant host who is clearly passionate about food, but who doesn't have the same passion -- or apparent knowledge -- as Tucci displays. Then there's John Leguizamo, another would-be food influencer, who took viewers on something of a food tour of several neighborhoods in his native New York City. Though he clearly enjoys food, his delivery was by far the most frenetic of the three. It did not draw me in so, for me, he would not be an "influencer."

So if even professional actors won't necessarily make the transition, consider how difficult it must be for the average person.  And yet, untold numbers try. 

What follows is a pitch that some would-be travel influencer (and would-be WRITER, for that matter) sent to TripAdvisor. Whether you’re a grammar guru or simply know the difference between “there”, “their” and “they’re”, and “you’re” and “your”, you’ll appreciate the idiocy and the irony. If not, perhaps the note (with specific errors commented upon) will prove instructive.

My name is -----. My wife, ----- and I really enjoy the trip advisor website.

The rendering of the TripAdvisor name could be considered a bit confusing. The TripAdvisor logo is all lower case but rendered as one word with "trip" in black and "advisor" in green. as: 
When it's rendered in text, it is TripAdvisor, a single word with T and A capitalized. If you’re going to be a writer, you need to pay attention to details like this and to be consistent.

We truly believe Trip Advisor needs a family face to its brand name and we have just the ticket.

There’s a contradiction coming. Wait for it…

We are highly passionate about becoming the Mystery Travelers and Marketing Guru's of the Travel Industry. I.E., Martha Stewart of cooking, Jim Kramer of Stocks, Rachel Ray of Food TV etc.

Did you spot the contradiction? 

"Mystery" people don't HAVE public faces; the point is their identity is a MYSTERY so they can experience hotels, restaurants and travel attractions without being treated any differently than anyone else, so their experiences will be a fair indication of what most other travelers can expect.

There are also several other errors an aspiring writer should not have made:

  • “Marketing Guru's” should be "Gurus" without an apostrophe. The word is plural, not possessive. A "guru", being an expert, would have known this.
  • “Travel Industry” should be "travel industry" without the initial capital letters.
  • “I.E.” should be lower case and means, "In other words." The abbreviation they were grasping for was “e.g.,” which means "for example".

“Jim Kramer of Stocks, Rachel Ray of Food TV etc.” 
"Stocks" should not be capitalized as it’s a generic term, not a proper noun. Rachael Ray’s first name is misspelled, and she’s on “The Food Network”, not Food TV. Accuracy is fundamental in journalism.

But back to the letter.

We feel there is a need for an all American couple that is loving and passionate about the Travel Industry that can give tips by going to destinations and giving formal reviews and reports on where to stay for vacations, business trips and the such. (Americans want to relate)
  • What, exactly, is an "all American" couple? Have these people looked around when they’re at a mall, a major downtown area, at an airport? America is not homogeneous. 
  • “Travel Industry” should not have initial caps.
  • "And the such"? Tricky, granted. "And the like" works; "and the such" does not.
  • Americans DO want to relate, but many of us relate better to people who use correct English, grammar, and punctuation ... like periods at the end of sentences. 
Our plan came up while traveling and since then we have been narrowing it down to a company that has this same vision for consumers.

[SNARK ALERT] “Our plan ‘came up’”? Really? This sounds either nauseous or lewd. What they meant, of course, was “We came up with our plan,” but that’s not what they said!

No doubt passion is what one really needs to be great of something and this is our calling. We have high interest already and would love to set down and talk to CEO and VP of Sales and Marketing.
  • “Be great of something” should be "great AT something".
  • “This is our calling.” No, I think you're being called to go back to school for remedial English. 
  • “We have high interest already” is rather unclear. Of course THEY are interested but are they saying others have high interest in their idea, or are they perhaps interested in getting high?
  • One does not “'set' down and talk to (missing either 'the' or 'your') CEO and VP of Sales and Marketing.” That would be "sit down", unless yer frum the deep south.

I have a background in E-commerce, Sales and Marketing with some Extensive International Travel like Africa Safari's to Greece. My wife ----- has some extensive international travel as well with a background as an Attorney, FBI Agent in terrorism, School Teacher, and Fraud Investigator. 

Where to start on this painful, pathetic paragraph?
  • "I have … some Extensive International Travel…” Which is it: "some", or "extensive"? And AGAIN with the initial capitals! STOP IT! 
  • “Africa Safari's to Greece.” Lessee... would that be "African Safaris (no apostrophe here either, as it's plural and not possessive) and Greece," or do the safaris make their way all around the Mediterranean and actually wind up in Greece?] 
  • “My wife ----- has some extensive international travel as well…” Again: Is it "some" or is it "extensive"? At least the Initial Capitals Are Gone...
  • More on the wife: "[W]ith a background as an Attorney, FBI Agent in terrorism, School Teacher, and Fraud Investigator..." Quite apart from the style errors (the only word that should have been capitalized was “FBI”), none of those vocations relates to travel so mentioning them serves no purpose. 
  • No, wait, I’m wrong. There was one connection: If his wife was a school teacher, she probably should have been the one to write their letter.
We look forward to hearing from you.

Don't hold your breath.


Well, at least they ended on a high note.


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