Business jargon C words – no, not THAT one…

Would you “cock a snook” at a “cup of joe” and just “chill out?” And would you know where those terms originate? Find out the fascinating roots of our favorite business and other jargon here…

business jargon explained on HTWB

Should you “chew out” someone who cries “crocodile tears?”

C-Suite: this is an affectionate slang term for the senior directors/vice presidents and other top people in an organisation and, presumably, where their offices are located! It’s said to originate from the fact that many of the senior job titles in a company start with the letter “C” – e.g. Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Technical Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Information Officer, etc.

Can’t make head nor tail of it: (also can’t make head or tail of it) means you can’t understand something at all, and/or you find it horribly confusing. Apparently the Roman politician Cicero once wrote “Ne caput nec pedes” (neither head nor feet) when he was confused about something. More recently (from about the second half of the 17th century) people began using the term closer to its present form, but no-one is sure why we refer to “head nor tail.” Logically though, this must mean top/bottom, beginning/end, or of course two sides of the same coin. [Read more…]

21 reasons why English is a b*tch of a language to learn

The English language never fails to astound us with how utterly ridiculous it is … in many places. Here are a mere 21 examples of homonyms / homophones / homographs that confuse us on a daily basis and make life hell for most students from other cultures who try to learn it …

English homonyms and homophones on HTWB

Would you desert your dessert in the desert?

1.The bandage was wound around the wound.

2.The farm was used to produce produce. [Read more…]

Business jargon bits – do you know what these “A” words mean?

Ever wonder why we talk about “a month of Sundays?” Or “at the drop of a hat?” Here’s a selection of English jargon beginning with “A” that you’ll often see in business writing or hear in meetings, talks and presentations.

HTWB jargon 01

Let’s start at the beginning…

101: a special number used to show that whatever it’s linked to is introductory – like, for an example an introductory course or lesson in something. There are various versions of the number’s origins, but according to Daniel Engber, columnist on Slate.com, “in the late 1920s. The Oxford English Dictionary finds the first use of “101” as an introductory course number in a 1929 University of Buffalo course catalog. Colleges and universities began to switch to a three-digit course-numbering system around this time.” As with so many such examples, after a while the term filtered through into general slang and business jargon and is now used commonly to describe the basic, introductory elements of almost anything from sports to cooking. [Read more…]

Grammar is groovy. Haven’t you heard?

Want to improve your grammar, spelling, punctuation and syntax while groovin’ around your office or living room? Here’s how – and I dare you not to start bopping in your seat while you learn these basic writing rules…

improve your grammar on How To Write Better

Get those feet tappin’ while you learn some great grammar and more

Many thanks to my good friend Trudy van Buskirk in Toronto, who alerted me to this amazing video which I found in an article by Jason Fell on Entrepreneur.com. [Read more…]

Spam, assignment writing services and other crap: trying or trivial?

Do you ever get spammed by covert assignment writing services and other shady outfits writing to you about what they can do that your customers will love, and you know perfectly well they haven’t even grasped what your business is all about?

spam about assignment writing services on HTWB

Before you start spamming English language writing sites, learn grammar and how to ****ing spell.

Do you sigh and hit the delete key patiently, feeling sorry for these poor lambs who are struggling to get ahead and do not yet understand that a) spamming is a sin and b) spamming and getting their facts wrong is an even greater sin?

Or do you spit fur and feathers and rant about how people in business who can’t be bothered to do their homework should have been sterilised at birth?

[Read more…]

How not to write signs in English…

With English being the utterly lunatic language it is, it’s not surprising that our non-native speaking friends in other countries find it hard to get signs right for their English speaking tourists. Here are 44 of the most intriguing examples…

how not to write signs on HTWB

Cocktail lounge, Norway:
LADIES ARE REQUESTED NOT TO HAVE CHILDREN IN THE BAR.

At a Budapest zoo:
PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS. IF YOU HAVE ANY SUITABLE FOOD, GIVE IT TO THE GUARD ON DUTY. [Read more…]

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