This week’s copy conundrum came in the form of an email from an old friend. Strangely, people think that because you’re a copywriter, you suddenly know everything there possibly is to know about the English language.
I’ve had friends secretly vying to beat me at scrabble before now – albeit slightly drunken scrabble at that – just so they can say they beat the copywriter. It’s made me up my game, believe you me. Mainly because, I can’t claim any real expertise over other keen scrabble players. I’ve basically been winging it.
So how do you wing it when it comes to grammar? Well, luckily for me, my school actually taught grammar back in the day. But the English language is so wonderful and perverse, not everything follows a rule. This can sometimes come as a shock to people, as so:
Friend: Tricky!? I thought the grammar game was all black and white!
Me: Yes Nige. It is tricky. This is why people pay copywriters to sort it out mate!
I’ve been going back to school recently through the eyes of my daughter. She is learning phonics which TEFL people may remember from their original courses. You sound out a word and hopefully it can be spelt as it sounds. Actually, this is ridiculous, because most English words don’t seem to be phonetic! Are they? Words like are and was, for example, would be spelled R and WOZ if that were true. These are what are known as grey areas (schools call them ‘red’ words and other fun things).
It’s thanks to all these numerous grey areas, that people like me can make a crust writing lovely company communications. So here’s my friend’s little copy conundrum:
“Apple was using multiple tools which were not integrated to its system properly.”
Why is it WAS and not WERE after Apple?
A good question eh? I’ll leave that one with you.
In the meantime, if you need a copywriter to be very black and white, decisive, incisive, creative and just good – as well as being a tea making machine – well, get in touch. I’d be happy to help.