5 Ways to Handle Those Pesky Pronouns

by Lorrie Morgan Ferrero

In the age of equal rights between the genders, the pronoun lags behind. When we’re forced to choose a pronoun, it’s more often than not male. Attempts at gender-neutral pronouns (witness the “s/he” fiasco) have fallen flat. But you run into danger of isolating the female prospect if she feels you aren’t really speaking to her. Studies (and real life) show females make most of the final buying decisions. So why not make them feel you’re talking to them? Avoiding male pronouns when possible helps.

Here are some workarounds for quick, easy edits…

1. Revise the sentence to exclude the male pronoun altogether (no offense, guys). There are two reasons for this. One – it snaps the reader out of her trance since we’re used to reading “he”. Two – it’s a subtle bonding experience that can pave the way for sales.

OKAY: When a prospect gets his first sale using the Widget System, he’s hooked.
BETTER: When a prospect gets her first sale using the Widget System, she’s hooked

2. Rewrite the pronoun using a plural.

OKAY: Even though the bank manager is busy, he should take time to thank his employees.
BETTER: Even though bank managers are busy, they should take time to thank their employees.

3. Replace the masculine pronoun with an article such as “the” or “a”.

OKAY: Every student should have his textbook in class.
BETTER: Every student should have a textbook in class.

4. Use first or second person instead of third.

OKAY: A good copywriter checks his facts.
BETTER: As a good copywriter, you should check your facts.

5. Delete the pronoun entirely.

OKAY: A successful parent relies on his intuition.
BETTER: A successful parent relies on intuition.

Copywriting guru Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero has been helping entrepreneurs and copywriters get their marketing messages razor sharp since 1999. Get free access to 5 tips to turn your “blah” sales message into red-hot copy that ROCKS… at www.redhotcopy.com. Source: LadyPens

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1 Comment on "5 Ways to Handle Those Pesky Pronouns"

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