July 30, 2012

A Letter to Travel Bloggers

French Riviera
Dear Travel Blogger,

I've noticed that standards seem to have been slipping lately, so if you don't mind, I have a couple of requests and a simple tip to share with you.

When you blog about different countries and their various regions, please do your research and spell their names correctly. 

For instance, the Minervois is not "the Minorvois" and St Chinian is not "St Chinion".
There is this wonderful online resource called Google which makes it very easy to look these things up so as not to make a mistake. Please do give Google a try...I think you'll find it very useful.

Also, if it's not too much to ask, please know where the heck you are when you write about a place.

For example, Carcassonne is not a two hour's drive to Italy and the Champagne region of France is not located in the Loire Valley.

I know I sound like a stickler for detail, but you are actually writing about a place, so those little thing like facts and spelling are kind of important

Thank you.

Warmest Regards,

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alexjourno said...

Here here!

Veronica said...

It's maddening, isn't it? But none of these beats NBC's Olympics coverage putting Australia in central Europe :) I think an intern must have confused Austria and Australia when googling. Easy mistake, no??

Mlle Paradis said...

ha-ha - stop the madness!

American Mom in Bordeaux said...

Well said! Love your blog by the way!

ardiola said...

I suddenly felt ashamed that you might mean my mistakes because I often write about Minervois. I was always perfect at spelling:))It sometimes can be only lapsus linguae, I believe. I agree with your comment, but also think these mistakes are not because people do not know the correct spelling, the French names are very difficult to remember for Anglophones. My husband always has to check their spelling, even paste it.

Loulou in France said...


Yes, very maddening.
And I saw that Australia/Austria mistake, which made me laugh, but made me wonder who the heck let that one slip though!

Loulou in France said...

Mlle Paradis

Merci! Hope you're having a nice, not too hot, summer.

Loulou in France said...

I am directing this at people who speak English as a first language, not at anyone who could honestly make a spelling mistake because they aren't a native English speaker! I make plenty of mistakes in French!

My point is that people writing about other countries should do their research. I don't think that is very difficult to do in this day and age.

Emm said...

Thank you. Nice to know there's another uber-editor out there. And do not get me going on the lousy and very-restricted-in-US NBC coverage from London. Gah.

Murissa Shalapata said...

I completely agree. As a travel blogger I find that many people rely on their memory which is fine when you are telling a story but people need the facts when it comes to places, transportation and such.

What's the point when you don't value what you write and the power of online information?!

spacedlaw said...

The other day I started to read a blogger mentioning delicious cheeses of France but when she wrote Rochefort for what was obviously Roquefort, she lost me (and silly me got so annoyed about this too).

meredith said...

If Carcassonne is 2 hours from Italy, then I must be in Italy. LOL!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I could not agree more, but it is not just bloggers. It is time the people who type the news headlines also learn to spell!!!! Diane

Jamie said...

People actually make these kinds of mistakes? You have it right about simply doing a bit of research on google. I mean if they are already sitting at their computer writing... and if they do indeed consider themselves travel bloggers, these kinds of errors are unforgivable. Gross mistakes (typos can sometimes be forgiven) show either a disrespect for the location we are visiting, laziness or, worse, a sign of not really caring where we are (so what would be the point of writing about it?).

Sharon said...

You are so right! A long time ago I was in the travel industry and overheard one of the juniors recommending Billericay (a less than salubrious town in Essex,U.K) as the place for summer sun. I suggested that the Balearic Islands may be a better choice!

collarcitybrownstone said...

You are really funny. I would apply this post to writing about any subject. So many people have become lazy about writing. On Pinterest for example most pinners begin sentences using small lettering. I guess it is too much trouble for them to press down the cap button.

How do you like making a word shorter? How are you becomes how r u. I cringe when I see writing like that.

Michel said...

I think the type of mistakes you mention shows that the writer really does not know the area very well so their post if informational rather than for entertainment loses credibility with me.

katiez said...

I often wonder if they actually visited the area. Fine to use Google to verify spelling (I do it lots) but to not know where you are? Why bother traveling?

Mary said...

Yes! It's exactly as you say here. I use google all the time. Most of the time i spell things correctly; but i check just to be certain. When i was in university and taking journalism classes..a misspelling of a person's name or a place in an item was labeled a 'fact error' and meant an automatic F for Fail! Good thing blogs are not graded. :)

Carina said...

But, but, but....the one that gets me on my goat more than anything is 'City of Lights'.....argghhhh!!!

Loulou in France said...

I've heard the coverage has been terrible. We have tv from England, so it has been good!

A very valid point. Thanks!

Loulou in France said...

I saw the same thing and it drove me crazy! "AOC Rochefort cheese produced in Rochefort-sur-Soulzon."

Lucky you! :)
I wish we had been that close to Italy when we lived in the Languedoc. We definitely would have gone more often.

Loulou in France said...

True! I understand making mistakes, but it is so easy to have a quick look if you're not sure of spelling.

I see location mistakes far too often and of course, most of the mistakes I notice are about France.
I agree with you....if you're writing and you are already on the computer, then how difficult is it to verify facts?

Loulou in France said...

Very funny! :)

Texting has made many people lazy when it comes to writing. But that kind of writing should stop there.

Loulou in France said...

I agree!

I wonder that too...I sometimes get a sense that there is no connection to what they're writing...so I suspect many haven't been to the places they write about.

Loulou in France said...

If blogs were graded, there would be many receiving failing marks!

I so agree. It grates on my nerves every time I see it!

Mimi Mj Strategic Communications said...

Good for you!

Vagabonde said...

I really enjoyed your post and am totally with you. I have seen many Paris blogs written by non-Parisians which are quite funny. One said that the Madeleine church could be seen from the top floor terrace of the Galeries-Lafayette department store – hello? How can you do that? Most of those Paris blogs, apart from Peter’s, concentrate on the tourists sites but still give some wrong information. The best is to check the real travel sites on the web or buy a travel book (although these may have mistakes too…) I think blogs are for entertainment and should not be used for real information. For example all churches and cathedrals in France which were built before 1905 belong to the state and are national monuments – they do not belong to the church – some are even just museum-monuments (like Sainte- Chapelle in Paris) and the people visiting them do so, just as they visit monuments. The last I checked only 5% of French went to mass regularly but many blogs don’t show it that way.

The beaver said...

The best for me was in a Travel Newsletter about Paris whereby the author (or invited writer who has been a visitor ) was explaining about a certain building in the Quartier Latin which housed the apt of Mme Daphne Mitterand, widow ( at that time) of the former President. The poor lady didn't know that she was named Danielle and NOT Daphne :-)

Loulou in France said...


You make a very valid point and thanks for the information about the churches. Interesting!

Loulou in France said...

Oh dear! lol
That is bad...

Géraldine - Your vie en rose said...

ahah. :)

Yes, great point.

We could make a list of all the classic spelling mistakes. When you check, you show respect to the place you are blogging about.

Your article made me smile as I just wrote my list of clichés about France, in the same spirit, a few days ago.


I'm definitely a big fan of your love of Normandy as it is a place I don't know very well.

I learn by reading your blog.

Loulou in France said...

Thank you for your nice comment and happy to hear that you're enjoying seeing Normandy through my eyes.
I loved your post about clichés! SO true!

EuroMom said...


Loulou in France said...