A writing piece from Scott P. Scheper.
Daily Issue No. 117
Broadstone, Little Italy
Sunday, 6:12 pm
I have spent the good part of my day watching a documentary series on QAnon. It is titled, Q: Into the Storm.
If you're a copywriter, I highly recommend watching it. Here's why: many copywriters suffer from a cognitive fallacy called sophistication projection.
Sophistication Projection is perceiving the world as comprised of much more intelligent people than what is true in reality.
What is reality? It's this:
773 million adults are illiterate, and only 46% of U.S. adults have literacy proficiency of a sixth-grader.
It's easy to get caught in the sophistication projection fallacy. It occurs because we're the subject of filter bubbles, and confirmation bias. We project our level of intelligence onto more comprehensive reality (reality distortion).
"No one ever went broke overestimating the intelligence of the American Public."
- P.T. Barnum
P.T. Barnum's quote is sardonically humorous, but nothing more. Don't interpret your literacy as something that makes you special.
Your intelligence level doesn't mean you're special. It means you're lucky. Some win the ovarian lottery at birth; billions do not.
I don't care how intelligent you are; if you've got a pompous attitude about it, you can graciously burn in hell. I don't tolerate such people; they're obnoxious!
The main takeaway is this: when you write copy, be compassionate, and be realistic about your audience.
That's all—nothing more, nothing less.
End of sermon.
Peace and love,
Scott P. Scheper
“Literacy,” November 18, 2016. http://uis.unesco.org/en/topic/literacy. ↩︎
Nietzel, Michael T. “Low Literacy Levels Among U.S. Adults Could Be Costing The Economy $2.2 Trillion A Year.” Forbes. Accessed May 17, 2021. https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaeltnietzel/2020/09/09/low-literacy-levels-among-us-adults-could-be-costing-the-economy-22-trillion-a-year/. ↩︎
Kennedy, Dan S. The Ultimate Sales Letter, 4th Edition: Attract New Customers. Boost Your Sales. Fourth edition. Avon, Mass: Adams Media, 2011. ↩︎
Scott P. Scheper