One of the secrets of good copywriting is knowing when to stop. Proud creators of superb products often find this hard. It’s understandable, given the love and effort that’s gone into their masterworks. But it’s always best to admit that things have limits. Take this fictional, but sadly not atypical, stack of technobabble:
* DVXL (TM) ready
* Full 2.0 feature suite
* Cross-platform compatibility
* Cloud computing ‘out of the box’
* Deep, rich, wide content-mining options
* Plug-and-play widget performance analysis
* Multiply scalable format distribution extensions
* Optimized, extensible interface handling parameters
* And more.
You had me well before the eighth bullet point. I just don’t want any more. And these scream-inducingly unnecessary final words also of course beg the question: “and more” what? Bananas? Trilobites? Cuddly toys? It’s as if the writer planned to use ‘etc.’ but decided at the last minute to be a little more formal.
Apply the “and more” test to real life and it’s clear what a waste of words it is:
“I love you. I need you. I want you. And more.”
“And more what?”
“I dunno, just… more stuff, y’know?”
“Hey kids, we’re going to the seaside tomorrow. And more.”
“Hurray! And more what, daddy?”
“Just more, OK? Now go to your room.”
In copywriting as in life, “and more” is just two words too much.