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. [Read more…]

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?” [Read more…]

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

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 afford to hire proofreaders. Never mind: it makes their website even funnier…

Funny grammar mistakes in newspaper content

No wonder the monkey peed on his shirt.

Glamorous: Stylish Mirka mastered autumnal dressing in a striking monochrome striped dress under a fitted black jacket. She added a pair of knee-high heeled books to her look. Good girl. Even better if they were books written by “moi.”

Roger and Mirka are close friends of the Federers, who were guests at both Kate and younger sister Pippa’s weddings (pictured here at Pippa’s nuptials to James Matthews in May). Roger and Mirka ARE the Federers, d*ckhead. [Read more…]

Does your writing get invaded by the CAPITALIZERS?

Do You Capitalise Every Word In Your Titles And Headlines?

Or do you Capitalise Only the Nouns and big Words in Titles and Headlines?

Why capital letters should not be over used

Or do you, perhaps, capitalise Common Nouns as well as Proper Nouns?

OR DO YOU WRITE LONG PASSAGES ALL IN CAPITAL LETTERS THINKING THAT READERS WILL ASSUME THEY’RE IMPORTANT AND SO PAY ATTENTION?

It’s the invasion of the CAPITALIZERS!

[Read more…]

How to make a small fortune out of 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 old favourites, but many of them are original, written by moi.

Funny stories and jokes about ponies and horses

Suze and friend (Suze is on the right…) as drawn by caricaturist Simon Ellinas.

Given that there are more than 3 million privately owned horses and ponies in Britain alone, with many of their owners working two jobs to keep the little darlings in comfort, these excerpts will resonate with at least one or two of your friends and acquaintances. Feel free to print this out and share over coffee and cake with them!

Choices
“Why the sad face?” asked one of two riders out on a hack.
“My husband says I have to choose between him and my mare,” replied the second rider.
“Gosh, I’m sorry,” commented the first rider.
“So am I,” replied the second rider. “I’m really going to miss him.” [Read more…]

Now for some SSSSSuccesses in English business jargon and slang…

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…”

English business jargon and slang, letter S

Are you as Stubborn as a mule?

Screwed, screwed up: often used as a metaphor for being damaged, or when something has happened to cause failure, e.g. “the sale of the company screwed up the engineers’ plans to create a new model of the motor.” We must assume that the term (which is officially classed as slang!) originates from the nature and usage of a screw, which is tightened by turning it around on its thread until it has fastened something. There are various other slang terms that use the word “screw,” and most of them are vulgarisms connected with action of “screwing” which, of course, also can be used as a euphemism for the sex act. However there are more innocent usages of the word, e.g. “to screw up a sheet of paper” meaning to crumple it up in your hand ready to throw away.

See eye-to-eye: this term has its origins in the Christian Bible, and its meaning hasn’t changed in the meantime… [Read more…]

css.php