business letters

Is ‘solutions’ the most over-used word in the dictionary?

It may only comprise eight letters but the word ‘solution’ can drive me to hysterical rants. I really do loathe it. It’s just so over-used in marketing copy, and worse still, as part of a company name.

Businesses seem to think it makes them sound dynamic and professional. Well it doesn’t. It makes them seem dull, unimaginative, dated, and as a PR friend of mine suggested – ‘lazy-brained’.

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Fifa Fo Fum, make sure your words don’t come undone

Sepp_Blatter_1904829gLove it or hate it, football is dominating the front and back pages of the papers at the moment. To non-football fans the corruption allegations facing Fifa, the sport’s governing body, probably won’t be in the least bit interesting. However one piece of ‘evidence’ that’s been revealed is a stark reminder to make sure what we write clearly represents what we mean!

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What? No apostrophe in getaways? Get away!

Devere's cup largerOh dear. How much money must this hotel chain have spent on these promotional vending cups? And it’s not a bargain basement hotel chain either. It’s one that understandably seems to pride itself on its attentiveness and attention to detail.

Mistakes are very easy to make but sometimes it’s better to cut your losses and destroy the evidence rather than cheapen your brand.

Are they really selling babies?

Baby nearly new saleWell, I knew times were tough but this poster advertising a nearly new baby sale seems a little extreme. It even says they are ‘to buy or sell’!

Concise is always good, particularly when space is very limited, but it’s also important to be clear so your message isn’t ambiguous.

OK, I realise no-one is really going to think it’s a sale of babies but it did make me smile.

Think like your customer

Setting up internet banking for an account that’s been open for 18 months proved rather more difficult for my partner, Graham, than he imagined.

I won’t go into everything that went wrong; I want to highlight one thing in particular to show how important it is to be clear and put ourselves in our customers’ shoes. Nowhere is that more important than in our copy.

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One hundred million trillion ways to sum up your business

Whatever you’re writing, whether it’s  a business letter, web page, newsletter item, or brochure,  finding the right words isn’t easy.  You have to choose words that clearly and succinctly sum up your business, service or product . And they have to resonate with your audience. But if you think that’s difficult how about this for a fact? There are up to one hundred million trillion ways you could write a 20 word sentence.

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Hello. I'm Elaine, I'm a copywriter and this is my blog.

It's mostly about words and writing - things that inspire me, entertain me, and make me smile. Sometimes it's about things that horrify me so much I want to scream and shout!

I hope you enjoy it and find it useful. And speaking of useful - scroll down and take a look at the Oxford Dictionaries tool.

Click here to find out a bit more about me.

Word Alchemy Blog