Words of Wisdom …

Mary Had a WHAT???!!!

The unaware communicator may face a major curse – his or her own education.

This can lead these smart cookies to call upon a vocabulary that does not match their prospect’s … (Think “stochastic” or “obfuscatory” or “insidious” or “fustian”!) …

…causing them to ignore one of the tenants of effective communication:

Those who know the big words may know the little words, but those who know the little words may not know the big words.

We should seek clarity, not admiration for our expanded rhetoric. When our prospects feel we’re showing off, response drops. And response is the way we keep score.

If you’ve been salting your prose with exotic, esoteric verbiage, you might have written the children’s poem “Mary Had a Little Lamb” with an eye on the mirror instead of an eye on the window. Take a look…

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:
Average: 4.0
Published: October 29, 2007

1 Response to “Words of Wisdom …”

  1. Also - be careful about using slang or popular expressions. Your client/reader may be from a different country or cultural background. I've noticed (e.g.) several expressions in the Accelerated Program for 6-Figure Copywriting that have caused a double-take for me (from a non-US country) or that I've had to look up. In one case the expression had a completely different meaning and would be considered quite offensive where I live.

    JenQApril 22, 2012 at 2:19 am


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)