Medium has an article called “5 language hacks to instantly become a better copywriter”. It’s a rehash of all the tired “advice” that I’ve heard before about copywriting. But let’s go through it and see why articles like this one are usually such hot messes. Screenshots and quotes come from the Medium piece.
“Strike the word ‘get’ from your vocabulary.” lol. Got milk?
“The word ‘get’ means absolutely nothing by itself.” Ok. The dictionary entry for get is PAGES long. It literally means a boatload of things. It means all the things.
“So when you’re tempted to write ‘get’… **CUE FORESHADOWING MUSIC**
2. Avoid the word “very”
[blah blah blah]
The word ‘very’ is also vague.
The word very is intentionally vague, ya dinkus. Case in point, your bonkers example:
(Also, the second example sentence – the “better” one – has a passive in it. **MORE FORESHADOWING**)
3. When in doubt, use contractions
[blahbedy blah] The more friction there is in your sentence, the more difficult it is to mentally read, the less likely is a person to want to continue reading.
Friction is a totally legit word to describe reading and writing. And this sentence is totally frictionless, especially the part that says “the less likely is a person to want”. No friction there whatsoever. Feel it slide.
It’s all about the flow, bro. Also, writing and speaking = one and the same. Judge one how you would judge the other.
“nr.” is not how English abbreviates the word number. Quit breaking my flow!
Dun dun DUN. Now is the moment that was foretold! Of course this “advice” is on here. Of course it is. And how do they define “passive voice”? With a definition from Google. Because it’s not like there are dictionaries or grammar books ANYWHERE AT ALL.
In layman’s terms, [passive voice is] when the action is more important than the subject of the sentence.
No, it is not. But good try!
1. Your sentences do not show that the active is more convincing. I don’t need to be convinced that an author wrote a book. Spend more than half a second on coming up with examples ffs.
2. Your active sentences have fewer words because you used fewer words. Don’t hang that on the passive. Also, what are “fewers” words?
3. The passive sentences here are just as clear about who is responsible as the active ones. In fact, the second sentence is entirely unclear – unless “research” is responsible.
4. Y U no avoid passive sentences in this article?
Advice gem #5 is called “Improvise with punctuation, bolds and italics”. Yes, go ahead and do that. It will seem totally natural. Like. The. Kids. These… Days?
And the word you want is emphasize. Remove the d.
If it wasn’t already clear, this article on Medium is nothing more than an info-tisment (adver-tainment? adver-mation?). It’s by a company trying to sell themselves by appealing to copywriters’ insecurities. That’s why they can get away with not knowing what they’re talking about and providing scant, vague and contradictory advice about copywriting. Don’t buy it.