Insight

Words matter

It’s been a wordy old week at Luma Towers. We’ve been writing, editing and reviewing content for every audience and from every type of writer.

Words matter. Your choice of tone and vocabulary has an impact on your reader and will either pull them closer or push them away.

How much thought do you really put into the words you choose?

Tone

Tone of voice should really be led by your core brand identity. Are you warm, funny, engaging, advisory, erudite, positive or practical? Whichever you choose, empathy is essential this year. A cold sales message will push your audience away, no matter how much they’ve enjoyed working with you in the past. No-one has come through the last three months unscathed.

Vocabulary

This is a fast-moving ocean right now.

The word “master” has been removed from many estate agents’ websites and some tech platforms due its historical meanings: a man in charge, the owner of a slave. Likewise with “cakewalk” – a dance performed by slaves on American plantations, rather than an easy victory. And “ghetto”, which comes from the Italian word for waste and came into use during the second world war to describe the segregation of ‘undesirable’ people (before they were sent to the concentration camps). Its not just an undesirable or poor neighbourhood.

Gendered job titles have all but been eliminated: actress, chairman, fireman, policeman, female engineer. All gone the way of the dinosaur. Happily, now anyone can become a fire fighter or construction worker.

Battle metaphors? Time to put them to rest.

And female. Female is an adjective not a noun. Female what? Tulips? Alpacas? Women.

“43% of construction firms have no females on their board of directors.”

There are no women in the board room. Possibly because you struggle to communicate with them.

 

On the flip side, the evolution of coronavirus-specific language has been brilliant.

Covidiot: person who fails to maintain an appropriate social distance.

Quaranteam: the small group of people you see during self-isolation. Also known as a germ pod or Covid bubble.

Quarantini: a martini with a vitamin C tablet dissolved in it.

Upperwear: dressing well on top (with PJs below?) for video calls.

 

We’ll be having a quarantini at 6pm in the back garden. Do join us.

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