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Old December 23, 2009   #30
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Evansville, IN
Posts: 2,986

I'll try to say this in an attempt at a friendly and constructive suggestion. I hope no one takes offense. The website should set as a goal a professional first impression. In that regard, I think most of the comments have been more hung up on the minutia of PL vs RL and whether shapka translates as cap or hat or crown or whatever. Yet if I put myself in the position of just a casual amateur gardener, I think I'd rather feel I was ordering from a professional seed vendor than whether the varietal names reflect perfect Russian to English translations. And with regard to PL vs RL, I have received seeds for Russian varieties directly from Belarus and Russia where when grown out gave both leaf expressions. So, that appears not to be so uncommon, in my experience anyway.

What I am getting around to saying and trying to be polite about it is there are grammatical errors in nearly every seed description on the website and I think when you post something on the Worldwide Web, you are exposing it to a worldwide audience where a professional appearance is critical if one wants to be perceived as such.

Now this may seem petty to some and maybe it is. I could care less about spelling, context, typos, etc. when reading discussions on gardening boards. So long as I can understand the message, it makes no difference to me how it appears in the post. But when I read a seed catalog, I guess I expect it to be written in correct English - the international language of business. And truly I think most people take away a more positive impression when the text is correct.

Some examples: Should potato leaf be capitalized? Why? If it should be capitalized, then both words should be and not just one of them. There are several instances where the description is given as "Potato leaf."

The beefsteak vs beefstake example already has been given. There are many instances of that conflict.

There are several instances where the name of a country is not capitalized such as Siberia.

Craig LeHoullier's name is spelled a variety of ways, including "Lehoullierin" in at least once instance.

Foliage is spelled "foilage" several times.

The spacing between sentences, commas, the lack of commas in some places or the placement of commas where not correct, etc. are other examples.

The alternate use of dashes and upper case between "Mid-season" or "mid season," etc. are other examples of inconsistency or incorrect usage.

I don't want to go on and on about it. I'm not trying to act superior or unnecessarily critical. I'm just saying that correct English use gives a better professional impression in business than incorrect use. That was the intent of my original comment on the first page of this thread and the intent of this comment now. I think it's more important than nitpicking over translations or other minutia not necessarily important to the general population that will be contemplating an order from a company advertising on the Worldwide Web.
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