Tuesday, 10 February 2009

In opposition of ‘that’

The world of mail order has the worst offenders.

“Buy this plastic kitchen implement, and bring a professional touch to that favourite dish.”

“Order these cheap carnations for that special person in your life.”

“Watch for that look of surprise when Tiddles sees this miniature wreck in his bowl.”

That?! Which?!

‘That’ is lazy copywriting. It reveals a writer disinclined to do the hard work that is sometimes needed to paint a picture in the reader’s mind.

‘That’, and a list of equally over-used words and hackneyed phrases, is, I am horrified to report, beginning to appear in wider marketing copy. Even the sacred turf of fundraising is under threat.

If you have any influence at all in the creative process in your organisation, please join me in driving this menace from our land.


Anonymous said...

There's nothing wrong with a bit of 'that'. That word can actually be a nice way to make people feel united. We all know 'that' look, 'that' excuse, 'that' person blogging about the fall of the English language.

Write as you speak. That is modern copywriting at its best.

Anonymous said...

Ooooooooh bettty!