Words are amazing – right? They can help to convey so much, or nothing at all. They can be used to repel or persuade. During these historic and unprecedented times, most people’s lexicons have grown while others have become stunted.
However, during this pandemic, it’s become clearer than ever before – modern writing is plagued with fuzzy, incorrect, or overused words.
Unfortunately, it’s often the content marketers that are guiltier than others. They forgo the mission of attracting readers and instead opt for “smart-sounding” jargon, multisyllabic words, and acronyms throughout their content.
Are you guilty of these missteps, too? Keep reading to learn about how to cure yourself of these issues, once and for all.
Get to the Point and Say What You Mean
One of the most popular phrases is “social distancing.” While it’s widely used, it’s not very well worded. The call for people to begin social distancing to help limit the spread of COVID-19 is better said as “physical distancing.” This means keeping a certain amount of physical space between people. Technically, social distancing would mean all those Zoom meetings never should have happened.
Unless you must use the official language created by the CDC, it’s best to be as precise as possible. For this advice for all non-pandemic verbiage, as well. Your readers shouldn’t have to rely on parenthetical phrases to fully understand what you are trying to say. Detail various concepts precisely and clearly.
Don’t Make Your Readers Feel Stupid
Have you ever had a medical appointment and left being more confused than when you arrived? Many doctors use acronyms, lingo, and short explanations they understand, but you never had a chance to ask them for further explanations.
Do you do this to your readers, as well? There’s a good chance you do. You may assume your target audience is familiar with your industry and all the acronyms that are commonly used. You try to avoid insulting anyone’s intelligence by avoiding listing out the definitions or explanations for niche-specific words and phrases.
However, in most cases, playing dumb in your writing is going to leave your readers with a much better understanding of what you are trying to say.
Avoid Superlative, Inaccurate Phrases
You probably know that fact-checking is an essential part of the content. But, are you fact-checking all the words you use? This doesn’t mean just grammar and spelling. It also means if you are using the words accurately.
Some phrases that may be used more commonly by some writers include “customer-centric,” “industry-leading,” or state of the art.” These phrases come from brands that want to elevate their perceived importance. However, readers will typically see through inaccurate phrasing and in some cases, call a brand out for using them.
Create Better Content Using the Right Words
It’s easy to get carried away and a bit wordy. However, make sure you edit before hitting the publish button. Keep the information here in mind to minimize the possibility of using the wrong words. If necessary, reach out for help from the pros.