I remind myself that “modern” is an outdated term. I assume it lost favor to “current” at some point, and now is more likely to be “relevant.”
Words will say things you don’t realize, unless you keep up. When you’re writing copy, you don’t want to sound old-fashioned using words like modern. Old-fashioned may have fallen out of favor as well. Is “outdated” better? It actually is hard to keep up.
You can say different words that sound better. For example, take this sentence: “That big old building is falling in on itself.” Change it to: “The remarkable edifice recalls days gone by.” Or “a boring event” becomes “a memorable experience.” Or “old stuff” becomes “pre-loved.”
Just think of these edits as word sweeteners. Whether it’s actually sugar-coating or artificial sweetener, someone else can decide.
Words matter. And the ones we prefer, the ones that draw our attention, tell us something about ourselves.
In my copy, I use the word “consider” far too often. It’s my go-to transition. If I’ve got to write a sentence of introduction, then get to the bullet points I want to convey, the word “consider” is a bridge. For example, “If you want to [blah, blah, blah], consider the following tips.”
Why would I like the word “consider” so much? It’s how I live my life. Definitions include “think carefully about something” or “look attentively at” or “take into account when making an assessment.” I consider all the time. No wonder it’s my go-to for transition.
Yet I recognize I overuse that word, and also that concept. So, I make an effort to put another word in its place, and also to put action items on my plate. Sometimes moving forward requires acting counter to your instincts. For me, that equals less consideration, more action.
What are your favorite words? In Michael Tate’s book The White Shirt, he talks about how our ears are a guide to our interests. As we hear the languages of our career calling, we perk up. When the languages (terms, concepts, ideas) aren’t interesting, we shut down.
That’s a helpful recognition – to know why I skip over industry concepts that I don’t relate to, but I’ll hit replay on things that draw me in. What languages (industry terms) do you like to be around? What does that tell you about your own career interests?
Minnie Lamberth is a marketing copywriter and author of Story Shaping, a creative encouragement platform.