He is most definitely a full-grown man.
And sometimes I call him the most ridiculous of frat-boy nicknames.
I call D.J. and others “dude” out of a lazy habit, a contagion born of a relationship with a younger man. My Philadelphia ex-boyfriend, 7 years my junior, called me “dude” the first week he met me. His nickname made me stop mid-sentence.
“Did you just call me ‘dude’?” I asked.
“I call everybody ‘dude.’ I call my mother ‘dude,'” he said.
(He also loudly and theatrically passed gas for me that first week, thinking I’d find it humorous and him charming. I did not.)
Embarrassingly, I still use the word. As I said, it’s because I’m too lazy to think of other words, and I’ve settled into a comfortable habit.
I’m the same way with my writing sometimes, but I’m trying to improve. Here are five horribly lazy habits I have seen in marketing copy I’ve written for clients:
- X Company is the leading provider of Y services
- X product is your best solution
- X service is a one-stop resource
- Anything with the word maximize
- X Company is the place/the answer/the solution
The problem with these words is that they no longer mean anything. Every company has become the leading provider. Every writer promises that you can use a product or service to maximize. We’ve seen these things so much that we no longer pay attention. They have become space holders on a page.
I frequently run across conversations about word choices that copywriters should avoid and techniques for improving your copy. Here are a handful…
PS — the graphic is one of my all-time favorite poems from one of my all-time favorite poets, Shel Silverstein.