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What do you think of when you think of The Incredible Hulk?
Do you think The Hulk stands out in a crowd?
Social media is a crowded place with a lot of people competing for attention.
Here are some lessons we call all learn from The Hulk about standing out
Recently I was very amused and very impressed by the twitter profile of a proofreader – Proofreading Hulk.
(At the suggestion of HULK fans – I’ve just today ( May 16,2014) added a link:
I also found another HULK who wants to discuss the finer points of writing in general – not just proofreading.
What I loved about this was the humour, the contrast, and the Hulk-like smashing of social media and on-line conventions.
1. Humour and contrast
The idea of the super-strong and super-active Hulk being a slow, calm and methodical proofreader is hilarious.
I also love how the Proofreading Hulk gets angry at MISSPELLINGS and DANGLING MODIFIERS – and you don’t want to get the Hulk angry!
There are thousands of writers and probably hundreds of proofreaders on twitter.
The Proofreader Hulk stands out in this group.
2. Smashing the rules and contrast
In on-line writing – WRITING IN CAPITALS IS SHOUTING! – SO IS USING TOO MANY EXCLAMATION MARKS!!! – yet all the Proofreading Hulk’s posts are in capitals and many have exclamation marks.
I’m not encouraging everyone to write in ALL CAPS. I just point out that the Proofreading Hulks messages stand out in a twitter stream because of the ALL CAPS.
Here’s an example of a tweet:
MESSY COPY MAKE HULK ANGRY! BUT ALSO PROVIDE PROOFREADING HULK WITH GOOD LIVING. HULK AMBIVALENT ABOUT BAD COPY. HMM.
The tweets are written in a distinctive “voice”. When I read the tweets I can hear in my head ANGRY HULK VOICE!!!
The messages are written in the very basic, broken-English style of the Hulk – often omitting definite and indefinite articles – also the classic mistake of not adding an S to the third person verb conjugation. (lots of people from different language backgrounds learning English make this mistake – as does The Hulk)
The Hulk’s alter ego – the shy Dr Banner would never make such mistakes!
Definite Articles – third person verb conjugations – oh, I’m sounding like a real word nerd now!
I’m sure proofreading Hulk would make these necessary corrections. (marked here in lower case)
MESSY COPY MAKEs HULK ANGRY! BUT it ALSO PROVIDEs PROOFREADING HULK WITH a GOOD LIVING. HULK is AMBIVALENT ABOUT BAD COPY.
It’s interesting how the very physical Hulk seems to be a hero for usually sedate and sedentary professionals such as proofreaders and source citation academics.
I also love the memes of the Credible Hulk – who improves credibilty by citing sources correctly1
As you may have guessed, I’m a word nerd. Part of my work includes proofreading and editing and improving copy.
Writing and proofreading and editing can seem BORING to non-writer types.
In my opinion harnessing the incredible power of the Incredible Hulk – makes writing and proofreading “cooler”.
One of my social media heroes Chris Brogan in one of his Human Business Way podcasts pontificated (and I’m paraphrasing here) about how lots of shy kids who are now very influential grown-ups in social media were also big fans of comic books and superheroes.
I reckon Chris would appreciate the humour and social media smarts of the image of proofreader Hulk!
So Proofreading Hulk – I my doff hat to you – not out of fear of your anger – but out of professional respect – what a great “brand” and “voice” you have designed for standing out in your area!
We can all learn from your example!
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I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious business communication tips.
I’ve disciplined my self to check ALL my different communication platforms twice a day – as part of my Check-in Ritual.
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