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.

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The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: January 31, 2005

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