The Dread of Overused Words
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Strengthen Your Copy By Better Words
Many words have a mixed or undefined meaning. Leaving you with the question, in what way are you referring? But no doubt when you say someone was “terrified”, you can picture a terrified person. No hidden meaning by even using the word “terrified”, you understand without wondering.
What exactly do you mean?
But let’s take the recent overused word, “surreal”. With many meanings, you need to know in what context it originated. Was the source horrific or wonderful? A dream state, the other side of what we picture as reality. Find a better word that depicts the emotion of the origin, a more descriptive word makes better sense. Such as: “debris everywhere after the explosion, it resembled a war zone” or “everyone was ecstatic and applauding as she got out of the wheelchair and walked for the first time in a decade”.
Introducing “emotional intelligence”. Not sure if “e. i.” is good or bad, depends on how much someone figured you had. Only based on the analysis of someone’s opinion. Why not just call it good people skills? A few fancy words that mean with a high score you have acquired skills to work well with others.
“Totally” is a funny word. It can mean absolute. An emphasis for a statement. Even for expressing agreement.
Like this next one
I really like the word “awesome” brings up visions of something special. The word comes alive with emotions and power. But overused for so many expressions, it has lost some of its “awesomeness”!
“Unbelievable” is that like when pigs fly or a mesmerizing circus act? When you use the word in a marketing campaign, the resistance takes place and people look at your ad as if you were a snake oil salesman. Not the impression you are trying to make.
Never trust a person who says “honestly” when referring to something you are unsure of being true. Trust me…but why, I don’t even know you.
One of those words when you don’t want to explain or can’t explain something. “Basically”. Is a lazy way to explain or a show of ignorance you don’t know something, but want to fake your way through an explanation to save face.
Often confused word is “literally”. You can close the door; a physical action. Sometimes we use “figuratively”, such as closing the door on ideas and that would not classify as “literally”. Wiser to leave “literally” out of the sentence and say what you mean.
I think you are holding a gun to my head!
“Exclusive”…used often in advertising and although the word is a driving force in marketing campaigns, try for an alternative. The word makes you feel special, but sometimes the buying public is bombarded with “exclusive” too often. Unless a customer is handpicked from a group of people, such as pet owners, stock investors, home owners, marketing only to them can become believable, with “exclusive”.
If you pepper your copy with overused words your potential client will recognize the hooks and take their business elsewhere. But if you present them with something unique and different you will grab their attention. Don’t waste good money and time on copy that doesn’t produce results.
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As a copywriter:
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Bringing products and services to the world.