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Characters online in two syllables or less - copywriting


About once a month I fly off everyplace to give a one-day workshop on characters for the web.

For part of the day, I bid the group to take part in a progression of short tasks. In one of these I ask citizens to write or alteration a web page headline, using words of two syllables or less.

What's the point? Well, the idea is to make citizens think. It's often tempting to write with long, center words. Conceivably it has to do with how we were skilled at school. And every so often we use long words cleanly to sound clever.

Before you know it, you end up with amazing like this, which I found on a CRM site:

"Our Internet aid infrastructure by design collects in order from the user's system, facilitates actual consultation amid assist personnel and users, and enables self-healing and automated badly behaved resolution. "

Do you know what they are frustrating to say? I don't.

Two belongings crop up here. First, the use of long words makes it harder for the person who reads to course of action the denotation of what you are saying. This is an issue with all writing, but even more so online, as we have to read on a screen.

Beyond that, I think the use of long words is a symptom. It's a symptom of a critic being lazy. It's a symptom of a celebrity in a rush, a big shot who won't take the time to sit back and think all the way through what it is they are exceedingly demanding to say.

Once you are clear in your own mind, and actually know what you want to say, it becomes a great deal simpler to communicate physically in short, clear-cut words. And when you do that, you'll write in a way that associates can grasp very quickly.

Should you at all times write with short words? Of avenue not. But try it from time to time. Above all, try it when you find by hand journalism in a way that goes on and one, with one long word agile over the next.

And yes, in case you haven't noticed, but for the word 'syllables', I wrote this total piece in words of two syllables or less.

(The aim was not show that it's a austere thing to do, or that I'm so very clever. The idea is to show how easy it is to read a block of text when the words are short and simple. )

Nick Usborne is a copywriter, author, loudspeaker and advocat of good writing. You can contact all his archived newsletter articles on copywriting and copy for the web at his Excess Voice site. You'll find more articles and funds on how to make money as a self-employed journalist at his Freelance Inscription Success site.


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