Mythbusting? Don’t Forget to Throw the Camel a Coat!

mythbusting in blogs

“Was it daylight savings time this weekend?” Brett Molina asked a couple of weeks ago in USA Today. “Nope. But it was daylight saving time.” Molina goes on to explain (citing a post from the blog Grammar Errors), that “daylight savings time” is grammatically incorrect, and that, next time, we should lose the “s” along with that hour of sleep, because there are not multiple savings.  Grammar Cops is even more precise, explaining that we don’t really save daylight; the term Daylight Shifting Time would be more accurate.

Reading this little information-you-could-have-done-without essay, (with eyes simultaneously crossing and glazing over), I couldn’t help remembering a Say It For You blog post I composed almost ten years ago. In “Myth-Bust in Your Blogs, but Give the Camel a Coat”, the point was this: While mythbusting is a great use for corporate blogs, since addressing misinformation shines light on the owners’ special expertise, the technique must be used with caution.

You see, just prior to writing that original blog post, I’dread in the Book of General Ignorance that camels do not store water in their humps – they store fat. Far from appreciating the new insight, my reaction was a bit resentful – something I’d taken as true for all of my life, was, in fact, a lie. But then, authors Lloyd and Mitchelson “threw me a coat” in the form of interesting new information about camels: When a camel builds up resentment towards human beings, a handler can calm the animal by handing over his own coat to the beast, who “gives the garment hell”, biting it, jumping on it, and tearing it. After that pressure is relieved, the authors explained, “man and animal can live together in harmony again.”

Now ten years later, I felt an identical twinge of resentment about Brett Molina’s correcting the Daylight Savings Time misnomer. Business blog writing lesson relearned: When debunking myths, follow up by throwing readers a “coat” in the form of some intriguing, little-known information related to your industry.

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