08 May Tip 16 of 30: Hippopotomonstro sesquippedaliophobia
I try to write in four-letter words.
No, not the rude ones.
Four letters, one syllable. That’s what I aim for.
(And if I could find a shorter word for ‘syllable’, I would.)
Short, easy to understand words.
Not because the reader is an idiot. But because they’re busy, stressed, tired, unfocused.
But how often do you find yourself doing this …?
And I blame education.
Remember writing essays? How you had to hit a target number of words?
Then going through the thesaurus to find bigger words to prove how clever we were?
A copywriter’s job is not to show how clever they are. But how clever the reader is for finding the message.
Any word longer than one syllable or four letters? See if you can shorten it.
A few years ago, I wrote an in-depth look at this technique. So I’ll point you towards that article, now.
Oh: and the meaning of that very long word? Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia?
Is it a fear of Hippos pedalling along with a bunch of roses?
Nope: it’s the word for a fear of long words.
Cruel, huh? People are afraid of big words, so let’s have a big word to describe it.
Be kind. Use short words.
This tip is based on my 30 Tips in 40 Minutes webinar.
Image source: Pixabay