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Thread: Websites, Grammar and Terms & Conditions

  1. #1
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    Jul 2009
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    Question Websites, Grammar and Terms & Conditions

    I’m in the process of setting up my website. I’m a one-women show (no employees) and am a sole trader (actually not registered yet but will be) and trade under a business name.

    On the about me page, in products descriptions and in other various snippets of text I refer to myself in the first person – e.g. “I’m a jewellery designer/maker” “please contact me if you’d like this in a different size” “I’m happy to undertake commissions” “come and visit me in the workshop,” etc…

    I like this ‘voice’ as it seems more personal and as I don’t work with anyone else, it just makes sense to write in this way. For some reason (probably just personal taste) it doesn’t feel right to refer to myself in the third person “Indi is a jewellery designer/maker” “please contact Indi/Business Name if you’d like a different size” etc…

    However, when it comes to the terms & conditions and other ‘policy’ pages (cookie policy, returns policy, etc…) it seems better to refer to the business/website name and therefore I’m using ‘we’ and ‘our’ e.g. “we may revise these terms of use from time-to-time” and “under our 14 day money back guarantee.”

    This isn’t very congruent with other parts of the website where I’m referring to myself as “I” but at the same time, it doesn’t seem right to refer to myself in the first person in these policy situations e.g. “I may revise these terms of use from time-to-time” and “under my 14 day money back guarantee.”

    I’d be interested to hear anyone’s thoughts on what style of grammar they use and whether it is acceptable to use perhaps the first person for direct references to ‘what Indi does’ and the third person for ‘what the company does’ even though behind the scenes it’s ALL just ME!
    Indi

  2. #2
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    Default

    I think mine is all first person, but I've seen sites where the legal stuff is third person and the selling stuff is first person and I think it works fine.

  3. #3
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    I'm a big fan of the first person. For places that this doesn't seem appropriate, why not simply use "these terms may be revised" or "a 14 day money back guarantee is offered" rather than trying to sound too corporate?

  4. #4
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    I've gone with I/me in all areas of my website. I'd originally started it by saying 'we' and 'us' as I thought it made me sound a bit more professional, but the more I looked at it the more I thought it sounded a bit wanky, as it's just me in my little studio, so I turned it all into the first person. Having said that, my 'About Me' page is bloody awful! On my list of things to do this year is get a proper writer to re-do it for me.

  5. #5
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    Lauren, your 'About Me' page is absolutely fine ... who better to write about you, than you

  6. #6
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    Jul 2009
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    Default Thanks for the Feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by mizgeorge View Post
    why not simply use "these terms may be revised" or "a 14 day money back guarantee is offered" rather than trying to sound too corporate?
    That's a great suggestion, George, but I have about 15 clauses for my T's & C's page and about the same for the privacy policy! Sorry, that wasn't clear in my original post and I only included a brief example. If there were only a few clauses to change that would definitely be the way to go.

    Perhaps I either need to simplify and condense the T's & C's and other polices or just stick with the 'we' and 'us'.

    The length of the current policies may seem far too extensive but a quick read through and I'm thinking I don't really want to remove any of the clauses as I want to be 'covered' by including them. The customer has to tick an 'I accept the terms & conditions' box before they can purchase. I don't really know how much better it is to have an extensive T's & C's page vs something short and sweet but I guess a dispute might be easier to resolve if everything is laid out for the customer.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShinyLauren View Post
    I'd originally started it by saying 'we' and 'us' as I thought it made me sound a bit more professional, but the more I looked at it the more I thought it sounded a bit wanky, as it's just me in my little studio,
    Ha! That's kind of what I was thinking, hence the question!

    I like your about me page, Lauren but understand the need to get professional people in to do certain things. I'd like a copywriter, photographer and web designer at my disposal, please. Whilst currently muddling through doing all those things myself it would be great to offload that work onto someone else who really knows what they are doing. Alas, the budget doesn't cover it at the moment.

    Thanks, Liz - one vote for the first and third person, then I think I might go with it…...
    Indi

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