Stop using long words! They don’t make you smarter

As a native English speaker, I’m always impressed when speaking to someone with an exceptional vocabulary.

I usually assume that if someone has an enormous vocab, they are incredibly intelligent!

Now my vocabulary isn’t bad, but I didn’t study English at Oxford or Cambridge.

In fact, when I first started copywriting, I felt like such an imposter! However, what I quickly learned was that I didn’t need to worry.

I’m not an academic, a lawyer or a novelist. I am a copywriter.

As a copywriter, I don’t have to wow my audience with my incredible vocabulary.

It’s quite the opposite.

It’s my job to communicate in words in the clearest way I can.

That means using shorter words, plain English and everyday language.

What is plain English?

Plain English can be referred to as a style of writing that is clear, straightforward, and easily understood by a wide range of people.

It uses simple and concise words, and everyday language rather than technical jargon or complex terminology.

Exchange long words for short ones

Long words are difficult to read. We need to stop trying to sound ‘intelligent’ and we need to use language that is more accessible to a wider range of people.

Of course, some words can’t be shortened, but if you’re writing web copy or digital content and you want more engagement – stop trying to impress with long words!

Choose simple, easy words and not long formal ones.

Here are some examples:

When you want to use this wordUse this one instead
DysfunctionalNot working
Per annumA year
Prior ToBefore

If you’re not sure how to shorten a word, use the Power Thesaurus. It’s one of my favourite tools and can help you find popular words, synonyms, and powerful adjectives.

Words have power

Thank you for reading! If you’d like more copywriting tips or you’d like to know more about the power of copywriting, check out my blog and see what takes your fancy.

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