(NOTE: Based on today’s The Daily Post writing prompt)

I’m as guilty as anyone of writing about “taking [fill in the blank] to the next level” or “elevating the program by…” and what not. The vernacular of evolution or success is often tied to higher physical placement in relation to either current status or something else. We rise to the top and so on.

But what about when “better” isn’t necessarily “higher.” Especially, I’ve found, with copywriting sometimes improvements are lateral, not horizontal. By that I mean it’s not that the copy is suddenly soaring and transformative, it’s just better arranged or cleaned up significantly. It’s just…different. Better, but just different.

Still, society is drowning in descriptions that equate status with height. That’s even been codified in at least two apps/services I’ve used in the last couple years. LinkedIn’s Elevate is a program to help encourage an in-house team to share more on social media, “elevating” their profile and the company’s reputation as a whole. There’s also a brain-training app named Elevate that gives you daily math, writing, listening and other challenges to help “elevate” your cognitive abilities.

It’s important to remember that higher isn’t always better. While that terminology has become common in everyday use, it’s a matter of perspective.

Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.

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