Get your business jargon and slang down to a TTTTTT…

You may know what most of these terms mean, but their origins are often very surprising. Here is the penultimate in this series, all starting with the popular letter “T…”

One in a series of articles on business jargon and slang

Does a “thought shower” allow you to “talk turkey” and “toe the line” about “the blue economy?”

Take pot luck: (or take potluck) is usually thought to be related to the US meaning, dating back to the late 19th century, where a large meal consists of individual edible contributions from all the guests. However the term goes back farther in time, to Britain in the 16th century, when to take pot luck meant to take your chances on what you get. Interestingly, both meanings of the term are still in use.

Take something with a grain/pinch of salt: to accept something for what it appears to be, but with some reservations as to its accuracy! This term comes from the days when much food was rather tasteless and in many cases might have been poisoned. The idea was that if you were to take such food with a “grain of salt,” or a “pinch of salt,” it made it easier to swallow. The first known reference to this goes back nearly two thousand years when Pliny wrote about it (“grain of salt”) in Naturalis Historia, back in 77 A.D. The term (also as “grain of salt”) was popular in England from the 16th century in examples like John Trapp’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments, in 1647, and F. R. Cowell (“pinch of salt”) in Cicero & the Roman Republic, in 1948. The amount of salt concerned with a “pinch” is obvious, and a “grain” is roughly .065 of a modern day gram. [Continue reading]

How to write a copywriting brief that gets you the results you need

There are two kinds of copywriters out there. One type will interview you and get you really thinking about your product or service offering, your target customers, and what they really want as opposed to what you think they should buy from you.

How to brief a copywriter

Make sure the briefs you give to a copywriter result in the right content.

This leads to a marketing communications brief that is bang on target and will produce an excellent result across all media. This type of copywriter tends to be experienced, skilled, very, very good at the job, but expensive.

Many SME businesses can’t or won’t pay for this level of professionalism. To quote a very-swiftly-dumped-ex-client of mine, “HOW MUCH? Just for a little bit of wording?” [Continue reading]

And it’s more written fun and games from the UK’s Daily Whoopsie…

Funny grammar mistakes in newspaper content

Yet more verbatim written quotes and captions from the UK's much-loved Daily Fail ... throwing grammar, syntax, spelling, geography and even sanity to the wind as usual. Despite being owned by billionaire Viscount Rothermere it seems they still can't … [Continue reading]

Does your writing get invaded by the CAPITALIZERS?

Why capital letters should not be over used

Do You Capitalise Every Word In Your Titles And Headlines? Or do you Capitalise Only the Nouns and big Words in Titles and Headlines? Or do you, perhaps, capitalise Common Nouns as well as Proper Nouns? OR DO YOU WRITE LONG PASSAGES ALL … [Continue reading]

How to make a small fortune out of horses…

Funny stoires and jokes about ponies and horses

...start with a large fortune...! If you or someone you know loves - or possibly hates - horses, here are some excerpts from an evergreen little book I wrote, The Horse Lover's Joke Book and its younger sibling, The Pony Lover's Joke Book. Some are … [Continue reading]

Now for some SSSSSuccesses in English business jargon and slang…

English business jargon and slang, letter S

If you spill the beans, you'd better shake a leg and sink or swim if you don't want to go stir crazy ... more fascinating origins of business and other jargon and slang in the crazy language called "English..." Screwed, screwed up: often used … [Continue reading]

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