When Your Words Mean Nothing
Hi. My name Donna Queza and I have a problem. I’m addicted to reality TV.
Very rarely does my reality TV habit produce anything useful or productive. But, when it does, I feel almost obligated to blog about it. So, when I was watching The Next Food Network Star a couple of weeks back and heard a nugget of wisdom, I actually jotted it down on a piece of paper.
On the show, existing TV chefs are training the next generation of cooking superstars. Contestants not only have to be talented in the kitchen, they also have to be dynamic in front of the camera. One of the mentors, Bobby Flay, was coaching his team on the importance of connecting with your audience when he told them to select their words wisely. To paraphrase the grill-master, the word “delicious” really means nothing. It carries no weight because it doesn’t actually describe anything tangible. Use instead words like salty, juicy, sour, sweet, creamy…
This got me thinking about how many weightless words we use every day in our marketing copy (on websites, blogs, social media and in print). I am guilty of this all over the place. “Amazing” “awesome” “fantastic” pop up in my copy on a very regular basis. Do these words really mean anything? Do they add anything specific to my copy or value for my reader? Not really.
Today I’m posing a challenge for all of my meaningless word friends. Take a look at everything you post today (from your blog to your Tweets) and try to omit descriptors that don’t have tangible meaning – something you can touch, taste, see, hear or smell. I already know this is going to be a tough challenge, but I’ll be taking it on too and will report back!
What are your favorite meaningless words?