Thought I’d take a break from providing my usual persuasive sales writing tips to cover a few funky word things that can trip you up when writing marketing content.
Here are three of the more common funky word usage issues that pop up for marketing pros when writing sales messages.
Everyday vs. Every day
When is everyday one word and when is it two words? The word everyday is an adjective and is used correctly in these examples.
Example: He’s an everyday kind of guy.
Example: It’s an everyday situation.
Every day is correctly used as two words in these examples.
Example: We go to the story most every day.
Example: That was fun. Let’s do it every day.
Now that you know the difference between every day and everyday, you’ll be amazed at how many times you’ll notice everyday being used incorrectly in marketing messages.
Further vs. Farther
For a long time many writers have used the words farther and further interchangeably. However, here is a simple rule that will help you use these words correctly.
The word farther should be used when referring to physical distance, as in these examples.
Example: In Denver, Colorado, you can smash your golf ball farther due to the high altitude and thin air.
Example: If we drive farther down the road, we might find your cat. But we might not.
The word further should be used when referring to advancement along a nonphysical dimension, as in these examples.
Example: She’s further along with her math skills than we ever expected.
Example: We won’t know the answer until we’re further along with our research.
As with every day and everyday, you’ll see further and farther used incorrectly in a wide range of media.
Compliment vs. Complement
This is a big funky word thing because many people don’t realize there’s actually two versions of these words.
Complement refers to something that completes or makes up a whole.
Example: The shelves come with a full complement of books.
Example: That necklace really complements your eyes.
Compliment refers to those expressions of praise, admiration and congratulations we all love to hear.
Example: After his stirring performance, he was overwhelmed with compliments.
Example: My boss has a hard time dishing out compliments to his staff.
For some reason, remembering the difference between complement and compliment used to be a tough one for me. So I came up with this sentence using the letter I to help me remember:
I enjoy it when people compliment me on my writing.
I have several more funky word tips I’ll bust out for you down the road—but next post I’ll get back to more persuasive copywriting tips!
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