Did you know that the English language has an estimated
vocabulary of 800,000 words? (Words R. McRoberts) We have words
to describe every object, movement, feeling and thought on the
planet; we can pinpoint each little nuance of meaning, simply by
choosing the right word for the right spot.
Language isn't something that remains static - it's a living
thing that grows and changes to meet our needs. We create new
words to describe and explain new objects and concept - just
consider the number of words that have come into the language as
a result of technological developments over the past decade.
Words like Internet and fax are common-place now; we all
recognise the abbreviation WWW and children around the world
know what Pokemon means.
Shakespeare, who was one of our most prolific and enduring
writers, used approximately 22,000 different words in his
published works. Well-educated people today, use about 5,000
different words when speaking and about 10,000 in their writing.
Most of us have a 'working vocabulary' of 2,000 (which means
that there are over 788, 000 words that are gathering dust on
the shelves of our minds). Of those 2,000 words, the most
commonly used are: the, of, and, to, a, in, that, is, I, it.
Those ten little words (and I do mean little), account for 25%
of all speech.
There are fifty words, which make up 60% of everything we say -
and only two of these have more than one syllable ... which
brings us to ... "stuff".
Why oh why (oh WHY) do otherwise professional sites use this
term? Surely with 800,000+ words to choose from, it's possible
to find a term to describe more specifically what is being
The experts are always advising web owners to offer visitors
something for free - and rightly so - this is a unique medium of
communication. It's fast, widely accessible and almost
ridiculously inexpensive when you consider the technology
involved - so it should be used for the free exchange of ideas
and information wherever possible.
If you visit ten web sites at random, you'll find more than half
will have a link to "Free Stuff" - regardless of the nature of
the site, the link will read "Free Stuff".
Looking for graphics? Click on "Free Stuff".
Looking for information on black holes or quantum physics? "Free
Stuff' will take you to it.
Need a dietary plan for diabetics? Try clicking on "Free Stuff".
"Stuff" indicates a lazy mind - one that can't be bothered
spending a second or two scouring the memory banks for a precise
term. Think for a moment about what you are offering for free -
then use those words to describe this on your link.
Your visitors will appreciate knowing that they can find:
a trial program a sample sales letter a series of articles on
how to do whatever it is you do so well graphics a mousepad a
video a diet links to related sites a template for a web page
design a report on how to be a squillionaire
or whatever it is you're giving them.
Don't make them guess.
So dust off the cobwebs and start using a few more words - your
visitors will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
About the author:
Jennifer Stewart offers home study writing courses and
professional writing services - copy writing, editing and proof
reading your web pages, press releases, technical booklets,
newsletters, business proposals, reports or any other writing
projects from her site: http://www.write101.com