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Copywriting: Imperfect and tense

While your high school English teacher would beg to differ, using perfect grammar can actually make your MarComm materials less effective.

In an article or a white paper, making sure your grammar and style are “according to Hoyle®” is critical. But when trying to convince a busy manager or engineer to choose your product, that same perfect grammar can make you sound pompous … even awkward.

Fact is, people don’t speak textbook grammar and syntax. We start sentences with conjunctions. And end them with prepositions.

Even use sentence fragments.

Using the second person (you) in an essay may invite a bad grade, but it’s usually the right choice for advertising copy. After all, good copy communicates person-to-person.

Grammar isn’t useless or unimportant. But the degree of “correctness” should reflect your voice and speak to your audience. Don’t be afraid to break rules – but do it selectively and within reason.


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