Like using qualifiers? A lot of them, perhaps? As professional copywriters, we need to do a little better.
That’s the advice of Stunk & White, authors of the bibles on grammar and style.
In “The Elements of Style,” William Strunk and E.B. White put it eloquently: “Rather, very, little, pretty – these are the leeches that infest the pond of prose, sucking the blood of words.”
Harsh, even without the vampire imagery. Harsh, but right on.
Besides, copywriters should always cut unnecessary words. It’s the “Less-Is-More Principle.”
Which has more life?
- “It’s rather important to be honest. vs. “It’s important to be honest.
- “We’re very excited about this product.” vs. “We’re excited about this product.”
- “I’m pretty sure I gave you the right medication.” vs. “I’m sure I gave you the right medication.”
This isn’t a life vs. death deal – except maybe in that last example – but for a prospective client, neither is hiring you. Take the advice of Strunk & White for your public relations writing: be a life-giver, not a leech; throw the qualifiers back into the mucky slough.