Monday, June 09, 2008

Copywriting For Dummies

As a copywriter, I often find myself searching for a specific word to get across a complex idea or perfectly describe something. Fortunately, living in America, we have the opportunity to simply make them up!

Here are some real-life examples:

Ruggedized - a product that has been made more 'rugged' to withstand exposure to the elements or a tough working environment. These include truck beds covered with rubbery protective paint or thick rubber cases for your mobile phone or iPod.

Unsignalized - as seen on a road sign in New Jersey. Unsignalized means that there are no signals there. For example, a stretch of Route 9 that is 'unsignalized' doesn't have any traffic lights. Unsignalized is normally a warning: Unsignalized Road Ahead!

Connectability - The ease in which one product connects with another. Some nay-sayers might prefer the term 'compatibility' but connectability is more specific to radios, stereos, cable TV setups and computer cables. Usage: 'This product has enhanced connectability for easy integration with your home theatre setup.'

Incentivize - To give added value to the purchase of a product, such as offering a customer a discount if they buy product A at the same time as product B. Normally to be found on internal memos: 'To increase sales we have incentivized our product with a mail-in rebate.'

Drinkability - The new 'Bud' slogan, used to express a beverage's ability to provide a satisfying drinking experience: 'A beer unmatched in it's drinkability.'

I was dismayed at first, but the longer I live in America, the more I've come to enjoy the flexibility of American English, which basically allows you to make up words. Making up words is actually a good thing! While it's easy to criticize President Bush for such inventions as 'misunderestimate' and 'embetterment', remember that John Adams invented 'caucus' and George Washington coined the term 'administration.'

So, with the word-whelping spirit of the Founding Fathers, here are some terms I've coined myself:

Philanthrapissed - A man who makes an overly generous charity donation after drinking several glasses of free booze.

Encrapsulate - To concisely express some stupid opinion or fictional 'fact' you've just randomly made up on the spot, in order to make it sound more credible or support your argument.

Humoursexual - To be sexually attracted to somebody with a great sense of humour.

Bifingual - The ability to hold two full wineglasses in the same hand without spilling either of them.

Please ensure any use of these words is appropriately credited to me! Thank you.


April said...

Oh Roland! I laughed out loud at encrapsulate and humoursexual. I will be using those for sure, but I may Americanize the humour to humor if that's okay with you. Will give you all the credit. In return you are allowed to use my word "Bummerfy" as you see fit.

Anonymous said...

Encrapsulate was my fav.