word choice: Should you write: sometimes, sometime, some time, or some times? - 06/20/14 04:32 PM

"When is it "sometimes" and when is it "some times"?
This was the question put to me in a recent email. Rather than trust my instincts (which in this case were incorrect), I did some research.
What I found were articles comparing sometime, sometimes, and some time. Nothing about "some times," but I think we can figure it out from what I learned.
"Sometime" refers to an indefinite point in the past or the future.
For example:
She promised to call sometime next week.
Our puppy was born sometime in the last week of September.
"Sometimes" is … (23 comments)

word choice: Confused by Apostrophes? - 08/17/13 09:17 AM
Judging from the number of errors we see - even in headlines on the front page of our local newspaper - it seems that a whole lot of people are confused by apostrophes.
The first rule to remember is that they're almost NEVER used to form a plural.
The exception: When they're used to form the plural of letters and expressions that are not commonly used in plural form. For instance, When you say "There are no if's, and's and but's" or "Mind your p's and q's."
So, if you're talking about two or more REALTORS, houses, school districts, comparable … (81 comments)

word choice: Are Your Email Messages Helping You or Hurting You? - 02/23/13 02:59 AM
Are your email messages helping you or hurting you?
After you spend hours and perhaps even pay a real estate copywriter to help develop your marketing materials, are you erasing all the good those well-prepared materials do with email messages that don't match the same quality of communication?
When you answer an on-line inquiry or send information to a potential client who called on the phone, are you being just as careful as you were with those printed materials? Or are you in a hurry?
Misspelled words, misused words, typos, and rambling sentences can do a lot of damage to your … (4 comments)

word choice: Do these real estate terms convey the wrong impression? - 09/20/12 03:41 AM
Two words commonly used by real estate professionals make me wonder if language doesn't add to the negative perception that so many have of this industry.
 Frankly, to me these words sound just a little bit … sleazy. Like the speaker is trying to put something over on someone. Like what they're saying isn't quite honest. Like… maybe like the stereotypical crooked used car salesman or the guy pulling a con in the dark corner of a barroom.
 What are those words? Deal and pitch.
 They just hit me wrong.
 I realize that a real estate transaction … (35 comments)

word choice: They aren't mere words - they're stop signs - 07/10/12 05:10 PM
Going forward from yesterday's post about misused words in marketing materials, here are a few more bloopers that have recently been spotted both online and in other print media.
taken for granite  (Perhaps this was a stony-faced person?)
the perspective buyer (Might be a good thing - putting all things in perspective.)
beyond my believe (??)
Wholly cow! (Ummm... yes. If it's a cow it probably is wholly a cow.)
Tammie White found this one on Trulia: "not waist what could be an incredible opportunity" (The opportunity was a double-fudge sundae perhaps?)
And then there's the one Tammy … (9 comments)

word choice: ... at my earliest convenience. - 03/13/12 03:27 AM
Yesterday I returned a call from someone inquiring about my son's Duplex for rent. But, in a classic case of playing phone tag, I got his answering machine instead.
What it said caused me to think "Hmmm... I don't think we'd want this guy for a tenant."
What did he say?
"Leave a message and I'll call you back at my earliest convenience."
Now, maybe what he meant was "as soon as I can," but what I heard was something along the lines of: "If I feel like it, when I get around to it, and if I have … (21 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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