Monday, December 2, 2013

Writing Good: Wording Woes at the Office - Copywriting for Business, Online and Social Media

All languages evolve over time and English is no exception. Many words frequently spoken in the medieval period, in the time of Shakespeare, from the Victorian era or even words in common use as recently as a century ago, most of which can still be found in the dictionary, are rarely heard today. The rapid development of computer technology in recent decades has given us words such as online, laptop, iPod, log-on, cell phone, download and many others, including of course, Internet. However, despite all these newcomers, the incorrect use of existing words and phrases and confusion or indifference to their actual meanings has become rampant.

I recently heard someone describe a particular situation as liquid, as in nothing is certain at the current time, when they clearly meant the situation was fluid. I’ve also encountered the words dethaw and unthaw in recent months. If something in your freezer is frozen solid, you take it out to defrost or thaw the item. I can only assume that if you wished to dethaw or unthaw something, you’d perhaps take it out of the freezer for a short time and then put it back in before it became defrosted?

In the workplace, people often state that they would like to help the problem, when they mean they’d like to help solve the problem. For example, you don’t wish to help the problem of traffic congestion in your city or the problem of efficiency in your office, which get along very nicely without your assistance. Rather, you wish to help solve these problems, investigate solutions and improve the situation. Similarly, an alcoholics help line should really be described as an alcoholic prevention help line, since alcoholics shouldn’t really be receiving any assistance to either begin or continue with their addiction. 

If these kinds of things are appearing in your written materials outside the office or on your website, they will certainly reflect on your professionalism or lack of it in the eyes of potential customers. You should take pride in your online copy, which can be seen by millions of people, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. If it appears that you don’t really care what your website looks like, clients will be left with a poor impression of your company. The quality of your online content will always have either a positive or negative effect on your website’s visitors. To boost your chances of making a great first impression, you need professional help and advice. Hiring a competent and experienced copywriter could be one of the best investments you ever make. 

I have extensive experience in writing for a wide range of industries and markets. Contact me directly for details of rates and fees regarding copywriting services.

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