Elevate your copywriting – down with “up.”
All due respect to Mick and the rest of The Stones, but I do not want you to start me up. More specifically, I don’t want to see the phrase “start up” in any advertising, marketing or PR materials. In Mick’s words, it’s enough to “…make a grown man cry.” (Well, this one, anyway.)
For some reason, we Midwesterners love to add “up” to “start whenever we can:
- I wandered over to start up a conversation. / I wandered over to start a conversation.
- We started up deliveries in the southern part of the city about a month ago. / We started deliveries in the southern part of the city about a month ago.
- There’s a dude in a mask with a chainsaw coming! Start up your car and let’s get aych-e-double-toothpicks outta here! / There’s a dude in a mask with a chainsaw coming! Start your car, and let’s get aych-e-double-toothpicks outta here!
In each case, dropping the “up” makes the sentence shorter. (We’ll tackle the overuse of exclamation points in another Tuesday Tip, mmmmmmm-k?) The only time “start” and “up” should show up as a pair is when they form a compound adjective – “It’s a start-up venture.” And, let’s face it, the only place it has to go is up.
There’s no downside to dropping “up” from your advertising, marketing and public relations copywriting. I’d lose that if I were you.