AdvertisingBrandingIdeas For YouWisdom

Are You Making These Copywriting Blunders?

By July 18, 2016 August 19th, 2020 No Comments

Does your company’s light beer contain “less calories” than your competitors’ brews? Do nutritionists recommend your breakfast cereal as “part of a healthy diet?” Will your pain medication provide relief to people “inflicted with arthritis?”

If your marketing copy contains any of those claims, you’re guilty of false advertising—from a word usage standpoint, that is.

Many copywriting mistakes have little to do with grammar and everything to do with choosing the wrong words. While word choice might seem arbitrary to some copywriters, improper usage can alter an advertisement’s meaning—and change a grammatically literate consumer’s opinion about your brand.

“Careful users of language will make distinctions; careless users of language will blur them.” –The Chicago Manual of Style

Let’s consider our examples above. Your light beer should contain fewer calories, not less, than other beers. Use fewer for plural nouns that are countable (i.e., fewer calories, fewer people, fewer votes); use less for singular nouns (less fat, less money, less noise).

Someone in good health is healthy. Something that promotes good health is healthful. Therefore, market your breakfast cereal as beneficial to a “healthful diet.”

Bad things are inflicted on people or things (arthritis inflicts pain). Those who suffer from arthritis are afflicted with—or afflicted by—the disease.

Carefully choosing words ensures that you imply the proper marketing message. And that raises another usage example: remember, the copywriter implies a meaning; the reader infers it.

Leave a Reply

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from Youtube
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google
Font Resize