24 Mar

Squeeze in a little warmth: using contractions

Unless I want this post to be unintentionally ironic, I’ll have to keep it fairly short.

It’s nice when you’ve been hammering on about a point for quite some time, and then have it rammed home by a higher entity than yourself.

Ever since I set my stall out as That Writing Chap (whether I’m dealing with a one-man band, SME, large corporation, or an agency), I’ve extolled the virtues of one, simple thing: using contractions within copy/content.

All this means – if you’re unsure – is, instead of writing the formal ‘it is / you are / we will’, you write ‘it’s / you’re / we’ll’.

It’s one of the quickest and easiest ways of giving your copy a warm, friendly, conversational tone (in reverse, using the longer forms can give copy a formal, stiff, almost legalistic tone)... yet people overlook it or forget about it entirely.

The higher entity I referred to earlier, is a major retailer who passed me their tone of voice guidelines to look through, and – joy of joys – they’re big fans of using contractions to give their copy a warm, authentic tone.
In fact, it’s the third tone of voice document, from a large brand, I’ve seen which lauds the use of contractions.

I’ve always thought highly of this very simple literary device, but it’s nice to see that some of the big boys have got my back on this.

Contractions: a simple way to give your copy a friendly, conversational tone of voice.

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