RE: Shazam! You're a marketing writer!

Subject: RE: Shazam! You're a marketing writer!
From: "Jessica Weissman" <Jessica -dot- Weissman -at- hillcrestlabs -dot- com>
To: "Al Geist" <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 5 May 2009 15:21:47 -0400

Al Geist asked why I think not using three particular terms is the key to good marking writing.

It's mostly a set of pet peeves. All three words are clichés, and "paradigm" is almost always misused.

If every integration or process is "seamless", the word loses all of its impact. And it doesn't make sense - seams are a good thing. You wouldn't want your clothes falling apart, and you wouldn't want to use only bias tape or other non-seamed methods to hold them together. You might not want highly visible seams like the ones in most jeans, but there are other kinds of seams.

"Leverage" is almost always used as a fancy synonym for "use" or "take advantage of". If it were used in its core meaning of amplifying something small into a large effect, I would hate it less.

"Paradigm", at its core, means "stick". Its proper meaning is a pattern for conjugating a verb or declining a noun. It's been so stretched to cover all other kinds of patterns that it has lost its meaning. It's a cliché now and an indicator, most of the time (not when Al uses it of course) of inexact language use and maybe even inexact thinking.

I can't be the only person turned off by copy that includes these terms (or other similar ones). But I was, mostly, joking.

- Jessica


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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: Shazam! You're a marketing writer!: From: Nancy Allison
RE: Shazam! You're a marketing writer!: From: Al Geist

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