The two most purposely abused rules are: (Trumpets, please) sentence fragments and ending a sentence in a preposition.
Technically a sentence fragment does not contain at least one independent clause with a subject and a verb. Copywriters routinely ignore this rule. Why? Because it interferes with the flow of the copy. And because it’s they way real people talk. Here’s an example:
My copy: “We send our child to Proof Positive Pre-School because we want her to succeed in school – and in life. And because we’re her parents. “
Grammatically correct copy: “We send our child to Proof Positive Pre-School because we want her to succeed in school – and in life. And we send her there because we’re her parents. “
Read the two examples out loud. Which flows more smoothly? Is more easily understood? If you chose the first one – you’re my kind of copywriter.
Ending A Sentence In A Preposition
There’s an old story where Sir Winston Churchill is taken to task for ending a sentence in a proposition. His response? “Sir, that is a sin, up with which, I shall not put.” This little anecdote shows you that strictly adhering to grammatical rules can be off-putting and can be a great hindrance to the reader’s understanding. If you occasionally break this rule, you’re the kind of person I’d like to have a beer with. Amen.
For over 30 years I have been a marketing consultant advising various businesses on unique messaging, branding strategies and copywriting. I love sharing my marketing tips, insights and secrets. Interested in learning more valuable stuff that could help improve your marketing life? Go to http://www.moneywordsmarketing.com/alans-blog/.