Quick Tip:
"Words Fail Me"

I know you’ve heard it before: You don’t need to be an expert in English grammar to be a great copywriter. And most master copywriters are proof of that. However, you do need to know how to put your words together effectively. If you don’t, it weakens your writing … and weakens your sale.

One of the pitfalls to watch out for is confused word order. An example: "Oxford Club correctly predicted the tech stock surge last month."

What does this mean?

Does it mean "Last month, Oxford Club predicted the tech stock surge"? Or does it mean "Oxford Club predicted last month’s tech stock surge"?

If you want your copy to be clear and powerful, you have to catch "pitfall copy" like this before you send it off to your client. At last year’s FastTrack to Success Bootcamp, Jennifer Stevens – master copywriter and AWAI’s expert on grammar – recommended a great resource that will help you do it.

"Words Fail Me" by Patricia T. O’Connor is short (you can easily get through it in two hours), inexpensive ($12 new), and fun to read. Yes, you read that correctly. It is fun to read.

You can forget all the "rules" of grammar your grade school teachers tried to drum into your head. But don’t forget Jen’s recommendation. "Words Fail Me" is the one book on using English effectively that should be in your copywriter’s library.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

Click to Rate:
No ratings yet
Published: January 31, 2005

Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)

This name will appear next to your comment.

Your email is required but will not be displayed.

Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters

Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)