It’s easy to take words for granted. We string them together on a regular basis. But when it comes to copywriting, words take a bit more time and attention. Saying what you mean isn’t always as simple as you think. Often, it takes time and expertise to craft a message that clearly communicates your point.
Why? Because the English language is confusing. We have irregular conjugations, joined words, hyphenated words, and homonyms (words that sound just like another word, but are spelled differently). There are odd punctuation rules. There are formatting irregularities. And, there are just plain-old everyday confusing words.
The problem is, if we’re not careful how we use language, we send the wrong message. For instance, take a look at this tagline for a car dealership:
Step in to Luxury
Does it look like a great tagline? It’s actually grammatically incorrect. “In to” and “into” have different meanings. While they sound the same when spoken, they don’t indicate the same thing when written.
Into is a preposition. It indicates movement towards the inside of something.
“In to” is two separate words that are not really related, but happen to fall next to each other. “In” is an adverb and “to” is a preposition. Basically, if you say “Step in to Luxury,” you are saying, “Step in order to Luxury.”
How can you know which word or word pairing to use?
Into often answers the question where. Replace into with where and the last part of the sentence (or in this case tagline) should answer the question.
Step where? Into Luxury
So, the correct tagline for this car dealership should be:
Step into Luxury
This is only one example of how English can mess with what we’re really trying to say. Do you have additional questions about copywriting? I’m going to make occasional guest appearances here on the journal with different copywriting conundrums. If there is one you would specifically like addressed, leave a comment on our RWL Design Facebook page and I’ll be sure to answer it.