Monday, August 20, 2007

How to Write Imperfect Copy

One of the most difficult tasks in writing is that of writing copy for catalogues, newspaper ads or, well, MLS listings. It’s important to capture attention and tell a story, but character limitations make that difficult, which is why you often run across sentences like “Stng 4br clonl, chrm thruout w/trfc vu of Hd.” As much as I love to write, I admit to being not very good at the task; there are only so many ways to say “Pottery Barn cute!”, and there are only so many synonyms for “coveted”.

But there is – or should be – an inviolable rule: proofread. I came across this this morning:

"Brick front introduced gracious Georgian. Designer Upgrades! Wainscotion, bay windows, island kit, brfst nook, 2 wood burning fireplaces, picket fence backs to manicured greenway. Coverted Oak Creek School. A sence f style embraced by a Spirit of Tradition! No Sign on Proptety."

To me – and I’m priggish when it comes to spelling and grammar, but so are many others – that’s like fingernails on a blackboard. What’s being said disappears into how badly it’s being said. It reflects not only on the writer – who is either magnificently dull or, as I suspect here, careless and inattentive – but on the listing, a $760k home. The listing is five days old, which means the agent hasn’t checked it once posted, and the seller either hasn’t been given a copy – sellers, always get a copy of your listing and check it for errors – or hasn’t bothered to read it.

This is a market where in selling a home – especially in that price range – everything matters, little and big.

Nf sd.


Rebeccalev said...

Good point- the devil is in the details; Great example- just looking at the copy made my head hurt.

Rebecca D. Levinson-

JadeEJF said...

Oh... eww, that is terrible. :(

Normandy said...

You write very well.