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

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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.


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