History managed to surprise me again.
Ancient Greek grammarian Dionysius Thrax, in about 100 B.C. came up with the idea to divide language into parts of speech. In his work, “The Art Of Grammar,” Thrax lists these parts of speech... and guess what?
He did not include “interjections” in that list!
He did not include the most expressive part of speech!
But what's even more interesting is that his English-language heirs did the same later. In the 18th century, John Horne Tooke (English politician and philologist) decried "the brutish, inarticulate Interjection, which has nothing to do with speech, and is only the miserable refuge of the speechless. …The neighing of a horse, the lowing of a cow, the barking of a dog, the purring of a cat, sneezing, coughing, groaning, shrieking, and every other involuntary convulsion with oral sound, have almost as good a title to be called Parts of Speech, as Interjections have."
And still, to this day, interjections are not used in e. g. academical writing etc.
But in sales writing interjections receive a heavy use. And they are very effective, by the way. Do you know why?
Because a sales letter mimics speech.
Because when you're writing a sales letter you're creating a sales pitch in print.
The easiest way to create a sales pitch in print (if you're already selling something) is to just record your oral conversation. Then have it transcribed. And here you go: you've got your sales pitch in print. No additional editing is required. Because if you have something that works in person or on the phone, it will also work in print.
That's why a good sales letter has to be conversational. And the use of interjections helps you accomplish that. Also, if your sales letter is written in conversational style then it reads easy and is more interesting to the reader, and thus enables you to get better response.
Another interesting thing about interjections is that no rules apply to them. You can use them any way you want.
But be aware NOT to overuse interjections. You don't want to do that. Otherwise you are at risk to become too conversational. This is very dangerous because, in minds of your readers, this may create an impression that your writing has no value, and the text is not worth reading. But you want your writing to present certain value to your readers, so make sure your sales letter is interesting to read.
Copy-In-A-Box contains a long list of over 200 interjections and exclamations that you can easily insert into your writing.
I've just scrolled through that list, and it contains a lot of good words and phrases to use. Here's some examples that captured my attention:
yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyessss!, gall dangit, dog my cats, duh, chop-chop, jeeez, shhhhhh.
Do you think those kind of words would also capture the attention of your sales letter readers? Absolutely!
OK, I hope it's been helpful. Next time I'll talk more about interjections, and also about exclamations.
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