Trick or Treat?
That headline can mean only one thing: Halloween is upon us. I don’t do much to celebrate any more, but I have fond memories of collecting candy as a kid. I also remember being really bummed because I usually had to wear a coat over my costume; Oct. 31 can be chilly in the Chicago area.
Are you wondering how this relates to writing? I do have a point, and it’s that you should take advantage of holidays and other events that provide you with the opportunity to add topical references to your copy where you can. Here are a few examples:
- A few years ago, in October, I created a marketing flyer with a Halloween theme. Among other things, I noted that “creating memorable, succinct and error-free written materials doesn’t have to haunt you” and “it shouldn’t be tricky to develop compelling messages…”
- As the NFL season began this year, I wrote a blog for client who’s a big football fan that included terms any lover of the pigskin would recognize (as well as non-fans). For instance, “What’s the best way to kick off a promotion?” and “The best defense against losing market share is…”
- Last year, one of my clients used a baseball theme for its annual conference, and I had lots of fun writing copy that reflected my favorite sport. This included “Are you ready to become an MVP?” and “…information presented over three innings.”
Put on your creative hat to stand apart from those who are afraid to think a little out of the box.
Present or Current?
Are these words interchangeable? Not really. The word “present” is normally used to communicate “at the moment,” i.e., our present situation, while “current” is used to communicate “recent,” i.e., current events.
Ensure or Assure?
These words also don’t mean the same thing. To “assure” a person of something is to make him or her confident of it, while to “ensure” something happens is to make certain that it does, (Bonus: “insure” refers to insurance.)
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