What Lies in the Road, Ahead?

What lies in the road, ahead? 

In my first blog, I talked about how a business that displays a message might think they are conveying one meaning, but their customers may interpret the message a completely different way.  Your business’s communication, whether it is in print, on the web, or orally, can have the same effect.  If you don’t use the right punctuation, or inflection when you talk, you can convey different meanings then you may have intended.  

The title of this blog is a good example of that:  

  • What lies in the road, ahead; or, 
  • What lies in the road ahead?  

The first is asking what obstruction might be in the road ahead.  The second is asking what things are lying ahead, using the road as a metaphor.  It could be referring to life or business.  The point being, depending on if you use a comma or not, this sentence can give two completely different meanings.  

As the writer or creator of ad we know the message we want our audience to take away; but, is it really clear to your audience?  You know what you intend to say; however, sometimes someone else might interpret the message differently.  Therefore, it is important that you ensure you are conveying what is intended to convey to the audience. 

So, next time you are writing an email, copy for advertising, a thank you letter, etc., have an outside party read it to ensure you did not write “What lies in the road, ahead”; when you meant to say, “What lies in the road ahead?” 

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