The Dread of Overused Words

Strengthen Your Copy By Better Words

Many words have a mixed or undefined meaning. When you are left asking in what way are you referring? Such as we all have no doubt when you say someone was “terrified”, you can picture a terrified person. No hidden meaning by even using the word “terrified”, you understand without wondering.

What exactly do you mean?

But let’s take the recent overused word, “surreal”. It can mean so many things, first you have to know in what context it originated. Was it something horrific or something wonderful? Yet, it was like a dream the other side of what we picture as reality. Unbelievable would probably depict what the emotion of the origin.

Then we have before us “emotional intelligence”. Not sure if that is good or bad, it would depend on how much someone figured you had. Always up for the analysis of someone’s opinion. Why don’t you just call it good people skills? A few fancy words that mean if you have a high score you have acquired skills to work well with others.

“Totally” is a funny word. It can mean absolute. Also emphasis for a statement you may have made. Even being an expression of agreement.

Like this one and I understand

I really like the word “awesome” there is just something special about it. The word comes alive with emotions and brings a beaming smile to the power it has. But it is overused for so many expressions, it has lost some of it’s “awesomeness”!

“Unbelievable” is that like when pigs fly or a circus act you are mesmerized by? When you use it in a marketing campaign the resistance takes place and they look at your ad as if you were a snake oil salesman. Not the impression you are trying to make.

Never trust a person who says “honestly” when referring to something you are unsure about. Trust me…but why, I don’t even know you.

One of those words when you don’t want to explain or can’t explain something else. “Basically”. It is a lazy way to explain or a show of ignorance that you don’t know, but want to fake your way through.

Often confused word is “literally”. You can close the door, which would be something you can actually do. Sometimes we use figuratively which would be like closing the door on ideas and that would not be classified as literally. Might be better to just leave “literally” out of the sentence and say what you mean.

I think you are holding a gun to my head!

“Exclusive”…I know this is used a lot in advertising and although it is a driving force in marketing campaigns, how about an alternative. The word does make you feel special, but sometimes the buying public is bombarded with exclusive too often. Unless a customer is handpicked from a group that might not include people they know, it could lack motivation to be believed.

If you pepper your copy with all the overused words your potential client will recognize all the hooks and desert your campaign. But if they are presented with something unique and different you will have their attention. Don’t waste good money and time on copy that doesn’t produce results.