Writing – How Copywriters Employ Weasel Words to Lie

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Copywriters use weasel terms to plant an idea within readers’ minds that is larger than the actual claim being made. Operating from vague, indeterminate details (or no facts at all), the copywriter may generate perceptions that may be totally at odds with the fact, without making a definite, total, or concrete claim that may be open to challenge. Receive the Best information about Fach-Texterin Sport.

But the scenario does it? Well, I have my views on honesty in writing. But needs must as soon as the devil dances. Whether you employ these techniques is up to anyone!

‘Help to’

In conjunction with ‘can’ (see below), ‘help to’ positions your product or service contained in the solution to a problem without having sole credit. For a writing example:

Crunchaflakes can help to lessen weight as part of a calorie-controlled diet

Of course, they can. Just about any food can. With the calorie-controlled approach, it’s simply a problem of adding up the calories preserved below a set target. Typically the claim is very carefully delineated and hedged about with the copywriter and is neither exclusive nor remarkable. But it lodges the idea of weight loss in the reader’s mind.

‘Can’ and ‘could’

Copywriters use ‘can’ along with ‘could’ for indefinite states that they want to sound precise. For example:

While traditional supporter heaters have average use of 10-15 years, the RoomHeater 32 can last for decades.

Certainly, it can if used fairly sparingly. If used nonstop, its lifetime would be a lot shorter. Caveat emptor!


Look again at the instance above. What period does ‘decades’ actually denote? Dunno, but it sounds like ages — just as words like ‘dozens’, ‘hundreds’, and ‘thousands’ seem like big quantities.

Strictly talking, 101 is ‘hundreds’ — it’s 1. 01 100s, which is more than one and therefore dual. If you’re uncomfortable with that, stay with 200 and above, that is more than one hundred. ‘Hundreds’ sounds bigger than ‘217’.


Closely related is the term ‘fraction’, as in ‘now offered at a fraction of the initial price’. 99/100ths is a small fraction, but those reading your own copywriting will think of those they learned at the institution, like 1/2, 1/3 along with 1/4, which will make them feel you’re offering a huge lower price.

Relative improvement

Whiter your teeth. Improved search engine rankings. Increased sales. Better hair. Whatever it is you aren’t offering to do, make it essential contraindications and unquantified, not overall and specific. That way, your tiniest improvement fulfills the particular promise.

Yes, of course, our copywriting will increase your revenue. I guarantee it. Simply by up to 50%.

‘Up to’

‘Up to’ or ‘as much as are used when you need to add a numerical or perhaps statistical claim to your copywriting, but can only substantiate that within a certain range.

Like you might be copywriting about a service that gets people duty rebates. Let’s say that typically, people get rebates connected with around 10% of their payments, but some have received 50%. In place of quoting the average, or the array, you can say ‘customers have achieved rebates of as much as 50%’.

All you’re telling us is that the rebate is in the array 0%-50%, but it’s the high number that will stick in peoples’ minds. Very few will infer the corollary, which is ‘some customers got nothing’.

Realize that the ‘up to’ variety must be honest: it may be unconventional or exceptional, but it needs to be achievable.

‘Over’ and ‘more than’

Closely related to ‘up to’, ‘over’, and ‘more than making numbers appear larger than they are. For example, ‘over 50%’ sounds bigger than ‘51%’. When given a fuzzy numerical range by the pro writer, people tend to overestimate. (If you want them to underestimate, work with ‘under’ or ‘less than. )

Watch out for using equally ‘up to’ and ‘more’ together, which results in non-sense writing:

Save up to $50 if not more!

Here, the $50 will be neither a minimum nor a highest, just an arbitrary point in an entirely undefined range. Although the viewers may latch on to the fifty dollars, blurring the meaning twice implies more confusion rather than a lot more impact in your copywriting.

‘As much as’ and ‘as little as’

For a rhetorical twist, copywriters use ‘as much as’ or ‘as little as’ to signify the figure they’re citing is particularly high or reduced. For example:

The iPhone is now designed for as little as $45 per month.

This specifically suggests that $45 is reduced, but with no frame regarding reference to substantiate the declaration.

Reported beliefs

Tom Albrighton is now regarded as the best sales letter writer in the UK.

Sounds fantastic, won’t it? But who’s doing it? David Ogilvy, or perhaps my mum?

The use of the innate case, which omits the main topic of the verb, allows the particular copywriter to say something is made without specifying who’s executing it. With verbs such as ‘thought’ or ‘believed’, copywriters can certainly put out a claim that could be completely unsubstantiated, simply by telling that someone thinks they have the truth.

Copywriters also use cut nouns such as ‘concerns’ (usually ‘growing’), ‘speculation’ (often ‘intense’ due to being ‘fuelled’) as well as ‘allegation’ (probably ‘fresh’) to have a sense that something’s preparing without naming the cooker.

This ploy is very frequently used in political journalism, typically to report an ‘off the record’ sentiment originating from a genuine source. A typical sentence in your essay might begin with ‘Critics with the President now believe… ‘.

Consider the following quote from UK Guardian, which produces all the techniques together within a sentence:

The disclosures will probably fuel growing concern about the fact that the prince is continuing to help interfere in political concerns when many believe he must remain neutral if he or she wishes to become king.

Who will be concerned, and why do the disclosures fuel their worries? Who are the ‘many’ who also believe Prince Charles must remain neutral? What is the informative basis for saying that he might not succeed in the pot, or that his transmission is conditional on his conduct? What is being mentioned here?

Nothing. But it seems good.

Rhetorical reinforcement

Copywriters use words such as ‘clearly’, ‘surely’, and ‘self-evidently’ to make an assumption sound like a conclusion. These kinds of rhetorical words add excess weight to a statement that may have zero bases. ‘Surely the particular recession is now drawing into a close? ‘ It may be, as well as it may not – the pro writer hasn’t said in any case, but readers think they get.

Unprovable superlatives

The Computer games entitled ‘The best ordinary album in the world… ever! ‘ and similar highlighted often the useful fact that superlatives usually are unprovable.

Suppose you start expounding on your firm as a ‘leading local widget maker’. Currently including firms who produce other things as well as widgets? Or merely widget specialists? Or just neighborhood widget specialists?

What’s more, how does one define ‘leading’? Do you easily sell most widgets? Make nearly all money from widgets? Or merely make the best widgets? As well as you just one of the best at doing widgets?

It doesn’t make a difference, because the only thing viewers will remember is ‘leading’. They won’t be querying your current definition.

If you’re still not sure about using your claim inside actual copywriting, dilute that with ‘regarded as’ or perhaps something similar, or place yourself as ‘one in the leading… ‘. Does this mean that one of the top 10? The top a hundred? The top 1000?

Or you can copy Carlsberg, whose add-on of ‘probably’ to ‘the best lager in the world’ allowed them to float one of the most outrageous marketing claims (‘best in world’) inside their copywriting without actually turning it into.

Read also: 10 Social Media Marketing Tips to Help You Prevent Social Media Failure!

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