Friday, April 1, 2011

Fine Diction

So you want to write a consumer product review. Well that's great! I'm sure that once it's completed, it will be the shining star among the other hundreds of unread reviews on the same site. But before you begin, how about going over a few pointers—some common mistakes that should be avoided.

1. There's such a thing as an "outlier"

"What a piece of JUNK! I plugged it in but nothing happened! Do NOT buy this it's a waste of money cause it doesn't do what it's supposed to! These people should be ashamed of themselves for ripping everyone off."

If you're writing a negative review because the product didn't work, here's a little insight: It's possible that it's an isolated incident. I know it's hard to believe, but it turns out that every manufacturer has to deal with bum units from time to time. So just because the thing you got doesn't work, that doesn't mean they all don't work, or that the manufacturer is a pack of monsters, or that their headquarters should be stormed with torches and pitchforks. Maybe you could return it, try another one, and then write the review?

2. Asking for help

"It worked at first but then I started getting an error message. Love the product but wish they would fix it."

In the event that you do have a problem, check the packaging! It's entirely possible that the manufacturer has teams of people on hand to help you for free! Call these people, you give their work meaning!

3. Not writing every single detail

"The product arrived at 6:15PM on 4/8/10 via UPS. I wasn't home at the time, so the delivery guy left it at my door. Once I got the cardboard box I immediately cut it open to reveal a smaller green box. Inside that I found several cardboard spacers, a pack of "do not eat" silica gel, the product itself inside a clear plastic bag, and several . . . (and it goes on like that)."

Hey, sum it up there, James Joyce. I don't need to know what you had for breakfast the day a product arrived. That's not actually important to whether or not I decide to purchase this product. See, my time is valuable to me, and you're wasting it. Cut to the chase already.

4. What is wrong with you?

"OMFG thiz is so dum why wud you buy this pize of crap thing it donnent wurk im returning it rite now and never buying anything from bestbuys again why wud you buy this piz of crap thng."

What corruption has happened in your mind to let you put this anywhere someone might accidentally read it? This and anything else that drips off your tattered thought process should be locked away with household cleaners and rat poisons, sealed tightly in a child proof container. No product* that can be purchased at "best buys" will ever be as broken, or as dangerous, as the language you have here produced. Unplug your computer. Put it in a box. Give it to a library. Then sit quietly among the books and think about what you've done.

*Except for the Kesha** albums.
**I refuse to acknowledge her ridiculous spelling.

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