Fact-check Friday: Several can be an understatement.


adjective sev·er·al \ˈsev-rəl, ˈse-və-\

2. a :  more than one b :  more than two but fewer than many; c: (chiefly dialectal)  being a great many (Merriam-Webster, 2017)

several nuclear tests

This is not a dialectical argument, and the use of “several” is a severe understatement and incorrect in this context.

According to the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), in 1962 alone there were 178 nuclear tests, the heaviest year of testing from Trinity (July 16, 1945) to date.

Vague language is not strong language. At best it’s lazy and at worst it’s slippery. You don’t want people thinking that you’re a politician, do you?

Is there a copy editor in the house? LinkedIn spell checker is broken.

Sometimes we have a great idea for driving engagement on social media, and in our excitement to fire it off right away, we completely and utterly forget to check for those squiggly little red lines that tell us we’re doing something terrible to the English language.

leadeship aresenal

I am reasonably certain in my translation of “leadeship aresenal” to “leadership arsenal.”

This is a PSA to stop and take 15 seconds to spellcheck your social media post before you release it into the wild. If your copy is healthy, it will be better able to survive and thrive on its own.

Fortunately, this person’s followers seemed forgiving.