The Best Paragraph You'll Read This Year
I know I’ve taken time here to mock people like PETA, the Daily Mail and really bad PR companies, but their crimes against marketing and writing pale in comparison to something I saw this morning.
A piece of copy so confusing, so overwrought and so terrible, that professionals don’t even know what it means.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the greatest paragraph of the year.
“Through multi-touch screens, we’re now intuitively collaborating with technology in the same way we manipulate our every-day surroundings”
The above is from a web design and development website. I won’t name them here, but if anyone wants to pitch some copywriting services, see if you can hunt them down.
Why is it so bad?
It’s unclear. I honestly don’t know why that should appeal to businesses. And it’s not just me who’s baffled by it. I took the debate onto Twitter:
@ABC_Copywriting: I’d like to be serious but I just don’t understand what it means
@waxingmoonman: It’s all about manipulation and collaboration! Every-day.
It’s not punchy: Why on Earth say “intuitively collaborating” when you can say “using”?
It’s not showing any benefits: You’re a small business owner. You need a web presence. You need to make money. You need to be visible to clients. The copy above doesn’t tell you anything that you’d want to know before you buy.
Quite simply, it’s terrible. So I challenged people to do better.
@waxingmoonman: In a world of technological confusion, we’re here to confuse you. Confuse you so much you’ll employ us. Manipulation – it’s what we do best.
@ABC_Copywriting: “Like lab chimps, people like pressing things that light up”
@sarahcopywriter: How about: ‘We touch shit & it fucks up, just like in real life.’
@inchoo: Multi-touch screens are a natural form of interaction we use in our everyday life and that’s why we can use these screens more intuitively.
Of the three above, only @inchoo comes close to decoding a potential benefit from the piece. It’s got me baffled.
Next time you’re proof reading, pick out a random sentence or paragraph. If it makes no sense out of context, you really need to re-write it.
Can you do better than the attempts above? Or have you seen an even more confusing piece of copy? Share it with us in the comments section.
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