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Copywriting tip # 17 – Avoid plague words.

What are plague words?

They bloat text, waste time, confuse the reader and don’t earn their keep. Examples include “at about”, or “ask the question”. You may well be asking yourself why are these examples considered plague words.

Concise copywriting is an art form.

The examples above should be more simply written as follows:

♣            At about = at

♣           Ask the question = ask

Also consider this example

Our riding helmets are lighter and stronger due to our use of titanium.



We use titanium to make a lighter, stronger riding helmet.


Bloated copywriting.

The following is the beginning of a list of some common plague phrases. Make a note and avoid using them in your copywriting.

Phrase                                                                 Alternative

a majority of                                                                         most

a number of                                                                          many

accounted for by the fact that                                          because

are in receipt of                                                                   received

are of the same opinion                                                    agree

as a consequence of                                                          because

arrived at the conclusion                                                  concluded

at this point in time                                                           now

beyond a shadow of a doubt                                           definitely

despite the fact that                                                          although

each and every                                                                    use one or the other

it is often the case that                                                     often

in my opinion                                                                    I think

in some instances                                                               sometimes

This and all previous copywriting tips apply regardless of where your copy appears, be it on-line or in print. Remember, the image of you and your business is reflected in everything you do so ensure your copywriting is sharp, correct and engaging.

Stay tuned for another edition of Avoiding Plague Words next week.


About Helen Ward

Copywriter Melbourne based Helen Ward, specialises in providing copywriting services that includes creative design, copywriting and marketing advice. Her company, Design Wordz was established 10 years ago. Design Wordz services small to medium businesses. Visit www.designwordz.com.au