Like most rules of thumb, this one won’t hold true in every case, but following it will allow you to win out most of the time. And as the title suggests, the rule I’m talking about is the old writing adage to: “Favor the Anglo-Saxon.”


English has words derived from all sorts of languages: Latin, French, Greek, Gaelic, and so on, but the core, most common words are overwhelmingly Anglo-Saxon. These tend to be the short words, packed with punch and fat with emotional associations.


And in PPC Copywriting especially, short, easy to understand, and packed with emotion are all very good things, especially as compared to words of latin origen that tend to be longer, a little harder to understand, and usually less emotional and vibrant. Here are a few comparisons to drive the point home:


  • Fight (Anglo-Saxon) vs. Altercation
  • Stench vs. Malodor
  • Home vs. Domicile
  • Find vs. Locate

With that lesson in mind, it should be pretty easy to see why the winning ad in this contest won so handily, boosting CTR by 135%:


Just think of the emotional difference between a “price check” and an “estimation.” Who wouldn’t want to check roofing costs, right? That just seems like good sense. But getting a roofing estimate, whoa — that’s a whole lot scarier.


So take a tip from the author of the winning ad, booster tomslake, and favor the Anglo-Saxon.