Yesterday, I was watching Wimbledon's epic men's singles final between Djokovic and Federer.
Then my girlfriend asks, "Miguel, tell me everything I need to know about tennis."
So I tell her, "Well...Six of these games make a set. And the first player to win six games, wins the set. And every game starts with both players at zero (They call it "love") . The first point is 15, then 30, then 40, then the following point wins the game. So imagine one of the players (for example, Federer), scores first: 15 to love. Now imagine the other player (Djokovic) scores - they're now tied at “15-all.” But if they tie at 40, it's called “deuce”. To break the tie and win the game, one of players must score two points in a row. But wait. There's more"
My girlfriend just says, "What the hell?! Why is it so complicated?"
I didn't even finish explaining the rules and she already looked lost and confused.
The origins of tennis dates back to a medieval game called jeu de paume, invented in France in the 12th century.
And there are many theories for its weird scoring system. From complex multiplications, to measurements of distances between lines of demarcation on tennis courts.
But here’s the funny truth. Nobody truly knows exactly why the scoring system is the way it is.
Apparently, it looks like the guys who invented these weird rules just wanted to keep it an exclusive game.
I guess it was their way of saying, "We know something you don’t."
Which explains why tennis became a popular upper-class sport in the 1800s.
Which is a great reminder why the language you use in your copywriting is so important.
Because the words you use can draw an invisible barrier that only a few people can cross.
So always make sure you talk to people using their own language.
If your target audience uses fancy, complex, "members only" kind of language, use it. If they don’t use fancy language, then avoid it like the plague.
Founder & Chief Copywriter, Teardwn + Nishi
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