Common Words That Can Ruin a Great Marketing Piece

There is a another great blog about copywriting that I highly recommend. It is called Get it in Writing and is an exceptional resource.

They compiled a list of what they called the Top 20 Words You Use in Speech or Copywriting That Make You Look Stupid When You Misuse Them, but as I misuse these words often I prefer to call it making you look “enyclopediacally challenged”. Here are some of my nemeses. (probably shouldn’t use that word either)

adverse/averse – “Adverse” means unfavorable. “Averse” means reluctant.

accept/except – “Accept” means to to receive with consent.”Except” means With the exclusion of.

affect/effect -“To affect” means to influence, change or produce an effect “To effect” means to accomplish, complete, cause, make possible or carry out. If you’re looking for a noun, you’re probably looking for “effect.” If you’re using a verb, you’re safest with “affect.”

allude/refer -“To allude” means to speak of without mentioning. “To refer” means to speak of directly.

all right – not alright

allusion/illusion – An “allusion” is an indirect reference. An “illusion” is a false impression or image.

around/about -“Around” should refer to a physical proximity or surrounding (I’ll look for you around the front of Baker Hall). “About” indicates an approximation (Let’s have lunch about 11:30 a.m.).

between/among -Use “between” to show a relationship between two objects only.Use “among” when it’s more than two.

complement/compliment -“Complement” is something that supplements. “Compliment” is praise or the expression of courtesy.

farther/further -“Farther” refers to physical distance. “Further” refers to an extension of time or degree.

imply/infer -“Imply” means to suggest or indicate indirectly. To “infer” is to conclude or decide from something known or assumed.

insure/ensure -“Insure” means to establish a contract for insurance of some type. “Ensure” means to guarantee. General rule? Use “ensure.”

irregardless/regardless -The word is “regardless.” “Irregardless”? No such word.

literally/figuratively -“Literally” means in an exact sense. (must be said in a British accent) “Figuratively” means in a comparative sense. (my sister-in-law Jacquie loves this one)

lose/loose -“lose” means to To fail to win, or misplace. “loose” means Not fastened, restrained, or contained.

principal/principle – “Principal” as a noun is a chief person or thing; as an adjective, it means first in importance. “Principle” is a noun meaning a fundamental truth, doctrine or law; a guiding rule or code of conduct; a method of operation.

toward/towards -“Toward” is correct. “Towards” is not.

Now I can insure you that irregardless I can write an alright marketing piece eluding to the affect of adversely effecting literally thousands of persons.

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