Are You Guilty of Using Weasel Words?
Hedging Only Weakens Your Point
Weasel words are something every copywriter needs to identify—and avoid. These are words that make it easy to back out of a statement or hedge your claims.
And while it might seem smart to use them, they actually weaken the points you’re trying to make. See if you can spot the weasel words below:
Their lack of specificity and the fact that they’re “qualifiers.” They appear to lend credibility to a statement, but they could just as easily provide an out when it comes to proving the validity of that statement.
The origin of weasel words
“Weasel word” is a Shakespearian term. He compared these words to “weasels sucking eggs,” leaving behind an empty shell with nothing inside.
Weasel words themselves are empty shells—they have no real or relevant meaning.
Show your work
Weasel words are tricky because they’re so close to relevance. Look at how a few words of context completely transform the statements above:
A little context gives the message instant credibility. To learn more about how to avoid weasel words and instead, write with authority, join our Copywriting 101 course.
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