grammar in marketing: Ouch! Watch out for verb tenses - 02/25/18 12:38 PM
This week’s mail brought a newsletter with the heading “What is ____ and the ___ group up to?”
It was an informative newsletter, telling about recent accomplishments and a bit of news about their local market. But I kept thinking “What’s wrong with this?”
Finally, it hit me. The verb was wrong. The “is” should have been an “are.”
I have no idea why it didn’t jump out at me the first time I read it, but it didn’t. It just left me with an uneasy feeling that something was “off.”
Had the writer said “What is they up to” I’m sure I’d have noticed … (5 comments)

grammar in marketing: Real estate marketing grammar – is it farther or further? - 07/25/17 10:04 PM
Real estate marketing grammar – is it farther or further?
Does that one ever confuse you? It did me, and not long ago I read that it even confused master marketer Bob Bly.
Today, while writing my Thursday newsletter, I needed to use one of those words. So – I went to my old trusty source, Grammar Girl.
It turns out that in many cases the two words are used interchangeably. She says that even some grammar experts don’t distinguish between the two.
However, there is a distinction.
Farther should be used when you’re referring to a physical distance. “How much farther do we have to … (9 comments)

grammar in marketing: Grammar in real estate marketing: should you say “Us” or” We”? - 06/26/17 10:22 AM
Time to get back to grammar – and its importance to you as you write blog posts, emails, letters, and web pages.
Some will argue (have argued) that it doesn’t matter – as long as the message gets through.
I say that’s exactly why it does matter.
True, some people won’t notice if you write something like “I can here you,” but many others will, and that kind of error will have two results:
It will make your reader think you either don’t know the difference or you don’t bother to proofread. In other words, you don’t pay attention to detail. It will … (56 comments)

grammar in marketing: Another marketing stop sign... - 07/09/16 03:57 AM
This morning's e-mail brought a message from a company that sells instruction in both copywriting and photography. The letter was selling a class and emphasizing the fact that you don't have to be young to learn new things and be successful.
It gave several examples, including one about a gentleman who competes in archery.
His story included a sentence which was a "stop sign" for me. I went back and re-read it, then I puzzled over it. And now I'm writing about it. I never did get around to reading the rest of their message.
Here's the sentence:
"Johnson is 57, and usually about … (3 comments)

grammar in marketing: Lay vs. lie - which to use? - 07/30/15 02:18 AM
Kathy Streib asked me to find some rules for the use of lie and lay, so I went in search... And found that there's no wonder most of us are confused.
Choosing whether to use lie or lay is easy if you're only working in present tense.
The confusion comes because:
Many people use these words incorrectly – in songs, and in phrases we hear often. The past tense is tricky Lay is a verb that requires a direct object. In other words, it's something you do with something else. "Please lay the report on my desk."
Lie does not. It's something you do, … (36 comments)

grammar in marketing: In Real Estate Marketing Messages Redundancy Can Make you Look Silly - 02/12/15 12:38 AM
How many times have you heard an automated message like the one on my answering machine today: "Right now Idaho roads are currently underfunded at a rate of …"
I don't know what the rest said, because I deleted when it got that far, but the first sentence is an example of messages I've heard many times, as in "I'm currently away from the phone right now."
It crops up in computer messages too – as in "The item you've ordered is currently out of stock at this time."
Somehow, those statements make the speaker sound a bit ridiculous. Don't they know that … (21 comments)

grammar in marketing: Real Estate Marketing Grammar - Do you mean its or it's? - 05/28/14 03:31 PM
Thanks to Bruce Kunz for reminding me that a whole lot of us are STILL confused about when to use its and when to use it's.
After all these years or reading and writing, I think I only got this one straight a year or so ago.
Why is it so difficult? Because "it" refuses to follow the rules regarding apostrophes.
Most of the time apostrophes are simple -
You use them to form a contraction - such as when you want to sound a little more informal and say "we're" in place of "we are"  or "he's" in place … (13 comments)

grammar in marketing: Real estate marketing – A tricky word pair to watch in your copy - 04/25/14 09:34 AM
Do you ever get confused between the meanings of less and fewer? Or did you think the two are interchangeable?
I know they're not the same, but I do sometimes get confused.
Earlier today I was working on real estate marketying copy for a client and I wrote: "… to get you the best possible price in the fewest number of days."
And then I thought "Is that correct?" So I looked it up, and yes it is correct.
So what's the difference between less and fewer
(or least and fewest)?
Think of this pile of money. If … (29 comments)

grammar in marketing: What's So Important About Proper Word Choices? - 08/23/13 01:12 PM
Every now and then one of my posts about the words you use in real estate marketing will receive a comment from someone who thinks it really isn't a big deal.
I disagree. I think it's a very big deal.
Why? Because words are our means of communication. We can only communicate clearly when we choose the correct words.
When we're speaking we have some leeway. Our body language and tone of voice helps convey our meaning. And of course, spelling doesn't enter into verbal communication. 
If we want people to understand our written communications, we need to … (6 comments)

grammar in marketing: Real Estate Marketing Word Usage – Perspective vs. Prospective - 06/04/13 02:49 AM
Here's another all-too-common word usage error that can throw a huge stop sign in the middle of your real estate marketing message: the use of "perspective" when you mean "prospective."
Just to clarify…
Perspective is a noun with a Latin root meaning "look through" or "perceive," and all the meanings of perspective have something to do with looking.
If you observe the world from a child's perspective, you see through the child's eyes.
In drawing, perspective gives your drawing the appearance of depth or distance.
If we say someone "has perspective," we mean she has a reasonable point of view or a sensible outlook on … (4 comments)

grammar in marketing: Grammar in marketing: Who vs. That - 05/21/13 06:51 AM
Who vs. That – Which to use?
The grammar checker in my Word program is notorious for telling me to use atrocious grammar. It always wants me to use a plural verb with a singular noun and vice versa. I keep muttering "Who programmed this? They don't even know basic grammar."
 One of the corrections Word routinely makes is to change my "who" to a "that" when I'm making reference to people.  
 This morning I decided to stop relying on my own memory of grammar rules and look it up. I visited "Quick and Dirty Tips" from Grammar Girl  … (45 comments)

grammar in marketing: Real Estate Marketing - Small Words Can Make a Big Difference - 04/27/13 04:35 PM
Real Estate Marketing - Small Words Can Make a Big Difference, even when they're missing.
Earlier this week I was reading an agent's bio when I came across this:
"Always active in the community, she is involved with the local animal rescue, the food bank, and the Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce."
I read that twice - then three times. And then I thought... "I wonder if her husband knows?" All it would have taken was the small word "is" or perhaps two words: "serves as" - which is what she meant to say. (At least I think so!)

grammar in marketing: Don't let misplaced apostrophes wreck your marketing messages - 11/16/12 02:51 PM
Real estate marketing messages need to be free of distractions, right?
In past blog posts I've harped about misused words, the use of abbreviations and initials that confuse readers, and the need to proofread multiple times to catch those typos. It's important because errors are like stop signs and can cause readers to focus on your words instead of absorbing your message. Once they start trying to figure out what the heck you meant, you've lost them.
Today it's time to talk about another stop sign: misplaced apostrophes. I see a lot of them in Active Rain posts, and … (38 comments)

grammar in marketing: Why you can sell in person, but your marketing copy fails: Blame your English teacher - 01/30/12 03:41 PM
Why you can sell in person, but your marketing copy fails: Blame your English teacher.
You may be writing under the  mistaken belief that a marketing letter needs to sound formal.
Your high school English teacher might approve, but prospective clients aren't impressed. Face it, formal writing is stiff and boring, and no one reads "stiff and boring" unless they have to. And they don't have to read your letter.
A good sales letter is conversational
 It sounds like you're talking to an individual person about a subject that interests both of you. And what interests them … (9 comments)

Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) Rainmaker large

Marte Cliff

Your real estate writer

Priest River, ID

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Marte Cliff Copywriting

Address: 1794 Blue Lake Road, Priest River, ID, 83856

Office: (208) 448-1479

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