For a fledgling copywriter, the most dreadful word is probably jargon.
It’s even worse than inertia.
It’s pretentious and flaky and makes you sound like an overzealous chimp who no one will ever be convinced by. And we all know how important it is to be convincing. The world runs on conviction, it really does. It’s what makes us wake up and face the day, because we convince ourselves that it will be a good day. Maybe even a fabulous day! Jargon kills conviction
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you pick up that notepad and pen. You get the heebeejeebies. Too much pressure. Way too much pressure. I guess one of the most important things is to unlearn and deconstruct yourself and your thoughts in order to break out of a pre-conditioned mind. I did my Bachelors in English Literature and followed it with a Masters. In English Literature. So it has really been a literary overdrive for me and my feeble sensibilities. I am automated to veer towards adjectives. And puns. And metaphors. Meta everything, to be honest. What a breathtakingly meaningless exercise in shameful futility! (see what I mean?)
No matter how tempting it is to grab hold of a seemingly apt adjective, it’s probably better not to use it. Unless of course you are James Joyce. Then you can describe the ocean as ‘The sea, the snotgreen sea, the scrotumtightening sea.’ But you are not Joyce. And the article you are writing is not Ulysses (well, hopefully). So keep it simple and jargon free. I am trying to at least.Yesterday, while writing an article on a Christmas fair, I started by typing out “As the mist kissed winter morning enveloped the beautiful, dreamlike cityscape…” and stopped. It sounded terrible. Instead, I changed it to “The city woke up to a foggy morning and knew winter is here.” I liked it better, maybe you do too. I was reading THE Ogilvy’s Confessions of an Advertising Man, where he says “Our business is infested with idiots who try to impress by using pretentious jargon…Never use jargon words like reconceptualize,demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.”So true. For now, I shall try to adopt that in whatever I write.