Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

There is always an exception. Beware of Absolutes. [Tuesdays: “Write with the Pen of the Masters”]

August 11, 2020

Everybody loves watching movies.”

No one likes to wear face masks.”

“I’ve never made a mistake.”

Would you agree with these statements if you heard or read them?

Grammatically speaking, these statements are incorrect and can easily be questioned or challenged.

These statements show how the speaker deliberately exaggerates to easily make a point.

When a writer’s intention is not simply to emphasize, using words like “everybody,” “anyone,” and “no one” can be harmful.

Doing that leaves readers with the wrong impression.

ABSOLUTE WORDS.

“[Words that are] not qualified or diminished in any way; total. Viewed or existing independently and not in relation to other things; not relative or comparative.”
– Google Dictionary

These words can be adjectives, adverbs, nouns, pronouns, or verbs.

Absolute words are used to exaggerate and add emphasis to a statement. It’s all or nothing and doesn’t allow exception or flexibility.

Why should we refrain from using absolute words?

  • Using absolute words can create a false impression on readers and trigger readers to find exceptions to say the statement is wrong
  • Using absolute words can cause the writer to lose credibility and can raise doubts on the reader’s understanding of the topic
  • Using absolute words can make a claim that can be interpreted as “no exceptions,” which may not be the actual point that the writer is trying to make

Let’s look at this example:

“The Two Great Drivers of Recessions”

vs.

“Two Great Drivers of Recessions”

The former is absolute and easy to challenge and state as being incorrect. Some can say the statement is wrong just by enumerating other things that drive a recession that doesn’t fall into those two reasons.

The latter allows the reader to rest the case on the greatness of these two drivers in discussion, not to think that there are ONLY two drivers.

Other examples…

Instead of:

“Everybody loves watching movies.”

(Some people might if they frequently watch movies but others might not.)

Try:

“Many people love watching movies.”

Instead of:

“I’ve never made a mistake.”

(Doubtful)

Try:

“I rarely make a mistake.”

To be clear in making a statement and to not create false claims we will regret, let’s refrain from using absolute words.

Depending on the statement or use, here’s a list of absolute words. Included on the list are possible substitutes to avoid making the wrong impression.

  • The use of “The”

    The Three Effective Ways to Communicate

    Substitute: Three Effective Ways to Communicate

  • Everyone/Everybody

    Possible Substitutes: “most,” “a good amount,” “many people,” “general population,” “the majority,” “multiple segments”

  • Nobody/No one

    Possible Substitutes: “very few,” “a small number”

  • Never

    Possible Substitutes: “uncommonly,” “rarely,” “infrequently,” “under few conditions,” “in rare circumstances”

  • Always

    Possible Substitutes: “usually,” “frequently,” “consistently,” “routinely”

  • None

    Possible Substitutes: “few,” “little,” “rare,” “a small number,” “hardly any”

  • No

    Possible Substitutes: “not really,” “not entirely,” “not in the slightest,” “by no means”

Review and proofread your copy or content, especially the important statements and points you write. Check to see if you’ve written anything that talks in absolute.

Avoid the use of absolute words in your statements when it is not a known fact to prevent arguments, false impressions, and weaken your content’s credibility.

Remember this tip the next time you make a powerful statement!

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Tuesdays: Write with the Pen of the Masters”

Who doesn’t find content writing to be a skill that requires a lot of practice and effort?

In fact, many people may even find copywriting very intimidating.

However, you can be a good writer as long as you have the right tools. You won’t always get things right the first time, but with enough time and practice, you’ll get the hang of it!

When you write a copy for any brand or for your company, your aim is to make an impact and…

…to get people to remember.

Getting people to remember means getting consumers to buy your product or to avail of your service.

And when you get your content to deliver the results you want, THAT is a great copy!

Every Tuesday, we publish content based on tips and insights from the masters of content writing, copywriting, and storytelling.

Become more familiar with ways to write great copy that helps you gain ROI from your efforts, drive profitability, and achieve your business goals.

Learn time-tested tactics that better capture the attention of your target audience, and maximize the benefits of great copywriting.

Hope you found this week’s insights interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Tuesday’s “Write with the Pen of the Masters!”

Cheers,

Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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