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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Words that should be blacklisted - part two

The bureaucratic favorite, “and/or” should be avoided like infectious waste.

Its use is almost forgivable in legal contracts for people who crave meandering, passive sentences with plenty of prepositional phrases -– but inexcusable in marketing materials. Why? Because it disrupts the flow of your sentence and makes the reader slow down. Anything that slows the reader and opens an escape hatch from your main message (not to mention your call to action), is bad.

So what should you use instead of “and/or?” Either “and” or “or.” But not both. Using both adds nothing, and makes your sentence look more like a legal document than a persuasive tool.

Your job as a marketer is to use crisp sentences that clearly communicates your selling message.

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