This week, I’m prepping for a brief blog talk radio interview all about why copywriting matters, specifically, why copyediting is crucial to a business and brand’s image. Host Kevin Willett, of the Friends of Kevin Radio Show, understands why copyediting is so important, but can’t comprehend why more businesses don’t take it seriously. Or seriously enough to entrust the words backing their brand with a professional copy editor.
Willett wanted to discuss the typical traps, like typos on a website or blog, even admitting his own spelling gaffes as an example of how the best intentions can result in overlooked errors. As we all know, everyone’s a critic and with the anonymity provided by cyberspace, any minor typo will leave you open to nitpicking and finger-pointing; ultimately, detracting from whatever important message you were trying to share with your audience.
But, copyediting means more than taking care of typos. Typos can exist without major damage to a message’s overall meaning. Word usage is where things get dicey…
A Top Copyediting Target, Aside from Typos
Yes, of course, copyediting involves the careful removal of typos — defined as misspelled words, incorrect grammar, and even pesky formatting problems, like extra spaces between sentences. But, as distracting as it is to notice a misspelling while reading, it’s even more problematic to encounter mistakes that mess with the meaning of your message.
This might seem like an obvious point, but the number of incorrect word usages caught by professional copyediting can be mind-boggling. We all know that friend or colleague who insists on using words like, “irregardless,” as in: “Our firm decided to approve the merger, irregardless of our investors’ concerns.” Irregardless isn’t a word and, in addition to ignoring the investors’ concerns, which sounds irresponsible and condescending, this firm also sounds… well, stupid.
These errors call to mind the classic film, The Princess Bride, specifically the character of Vizzini. Played by Wallace Shawn, Vizzini’s character considers every plot point and character development, “inconceivable!” That is his stock response, irregardless (kidding) of how predictable the moment. It takes his kind-hearted and, obviously, intellectually superior sidekick, Fezzik, to counter, “You say that word a lot. I don’t think it means what you think it means.”
Touché, Fezzik. It sure doesn’t. You would have made a killer copyeditor.
Why Your Brand Needs Professional Copyediting
As a business owner, you want to cultivate a clear message representing your brand. Part of that requires consistently and correctly echoing that message in order to educate and inform your clients about your services, products, or mission. But, running a business comes with enough daily demands. Managing and marketing your message will always bump up against other priorities and commitments. It’s a time-consuming proposition; however, taking shortcuts when it comes to copywriting and copyediting can lead to lost meaning.
Don’t be the Vizzini in the way of your brand’s victory. Invest in professional copyediting as part of your best business strategy. Contact me today to discuss how I can be the Fezzik your brand needs to ensure your message is precise and on point, every time.