A copywriter's guide to: Commonly misused (and misspelled) words


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As copywriters our reputation can rest on our understanding of language. On which turn of phrase will get a response from the reader but at a more basic level, which words are actually right to use.

These slides tackle some of the clangers in copywriting. The most commonly misused and misspelled words that make us do a double take during proofing and run through our rules to make sure we’ve selected the right word.

Check out copywritematters.com for more copywriting content that will improve your writing... including copywriting courses that will help YOU become an in-demand copywriter.

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A copywriter's guide to: Commonly misused (and misspelled) words

  1. 1. A Copywriter’s Guide to the (& Tips to Help You Not Mess Up) @CopywriteMattrs Most Commonly MisusedMisused & MisspelledMisspelled Words
  2. 2. As copywriters, our reputation can rest on our understanding of language.
  3. 3. But at one point or another, you've probably asked yourself...
  4. 4. “Is this the right word to use?”
  5. 5. Fret not!
  6. 6. Here's a quick guide to words that make us do a double take during proofing!
  7. 7. Practise vs Practice verb noun r q
  8. 8. verb noun r q “If you practisepractise your copywriting, you repeat the activity until you improve.” r Practise vs Practice
  9. 9. verb noun r q “If you visit your doctor’s practicepractice, you go to a place.” q Practise vs Practice
  10. 10. License vs Licence verb noun r q
  11. 11. verb noun r q “licensinglicensing a venue” r License vs Licence
  12. 12. verb noun r q “a physical licencelicence, like a driver’s licence” q License vs Licence
  13. 13. Advise vs Advice verb noun r q
  14. 14. verb noun r q “act of giving adviceadvice” r Advise vs Advice
  15. 15. verb noun r q “helpful opinion” q Advise vs Advice
  16. 16. Follow the esses to action! Soccer practiSe CW M Tip
  17. 17. Affect vs Effect verb noun r q
  18. 18. verb noun r q “If you affectaffect a situation, you cause an outcome.” r Affect vs Effect
  19. 19. verb noun r q “That outcome is the effecteffect.” q Affect vs Effect
  20. 20. If it’s something you’re going to do, use “affect.” If it’s something you’ve already done, use “effect.” CW M Tip
  21. 21. Discrete vs Discreet
  22. 22. “something independent or distinct” yDiscrete vs Discreet
  23. 23. “being more private than usual so you don’t cause embarrassment” z Discrete vs Discreet
  24. 24. Discreet = Be private and keep the esses together. Discrete = The esses are separated because they're independent! CW M Tip
  25. 25. Complementary vs Complimentary
  26. 26. Complementary vs Complimentary “when you combine a few associated objects” y
  27. 27. Complementary vs Complimentary “nice things you say to someone with new duds on” z
  28. 28. Remember the “i's”! complImentary = nIce CW M Tip
  29. 29. Stationary vs Stationery
  30. 30. Stationary vs Stationery “state of stillness like zen meditation… or a cabinet” y
  31. 31. Stationary vs Stationery “pens, paper & other interesting things you find at Officeworks” z
  32. 32. Remember the esses! stationEry = EnvElopE CW M Tip
  33. 33. Enquiry vs Inquiry
  34. 34. Enquiry vs Inquiry “question” y
  35. 35. Enquiry vs Inquiry “an official investigation” z
  36. 36. Enquiry = quEstion INquiry = INvestigation CW M Tip
  37. 37. Want more practical advice to make you a better writer? @CopywriteMattrs Belinda Weaver noun!noun!q
  38. 38. Grab this handy cheat sheet: 20 Incredibly Useful Copywriting Tips (that will transform the way you write)
  39. 39. PLUS regular writing tips delivered to your inbox! Click the Click the book!book! Grab this handy cheat sheet: