Why Writing Matters When You Advertise a Cragslist Giveaway

The latest example of why writing matters in the real world. Be careful of that word “everything.”

Here is the online ad that the family placed Tuesday night:

“Fairly large, free yard sale. Moving and we want everything to go for free. So come over and take whatever you want and how much you want. Here are a couple of items that will be there: Couch, chairs, lots of household and kitchen items, appliances, a wardrobe, desk, recliner, movies, lots of books, lamps, women’s and teens’ clothing, etc. And also a box of free food with lots of cans. Please take only if you need it. We’re starting at 10 a.m., October 24th, and we’ll finish when everything’s gone.”

Vercher said he understands why people misunderstood the family’s ad because of the way they worded it.

“Never thought in a million years that they would come and take all of our stuff in the house,” he said, emphasizing that he had planned to arrive from work before anyone else showed up. “They probably thought that they were allowed to come [inside], and they saw other people coming in and out, and they thought it was OK.” —Foreclosed family watches helplessly as craigslist crowds strip house bare

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