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…]

More bitsa business jargon – plenty of B’s

“B” is for “Big Apple” and “Big cheese” … but do you know the real meaning of “bust my chops,” “boil the ocean,” or even the humble “by the way?” The next in my new series

English Business Jargon demystified on HTWB

Do you know the REAL meaning of “bust my chops,” “boil the ocean,” or even the humble “by the way?”

Bad apple: if you know about horticulture you will know that one bad apple in a collection of good ones has the ability to make all the others rot in a short space of time. That’s how the metaphor works: one “bad apple,” e.g. a negative or disruptive member of a team, employee, supplier etc., or even an inappropriate policy within a project, can be enough to cause a lot of damage to the overall organisation or activity. The term may originate from religious sermons preached in the USA in the 19th century. [Read more…]

Why your website text is NOT about your business

No, it’s not a typo.

It’s not about you

You lose count, don’t you, of the number of websites you see that talk all about the company concerned, when it started, what it prides itself on, and all manner of other “we-wee” words.

how to write good business website text by Suzan St Maur on HTWB

It starts on the “home page” with a lot of information your customers don’t need yet, if at all.

Then you go to the “about us” page and there’s more information that’s not relevant to what your customers are looking for (do they really care where the founder went to college in the 1950s?). [Read more…]

Why you need to think first and write later – especially for business

“If you don’t know what you think, you can’t write it down,” said my longtime colleague and book co-author John Butman some years ago.

Yet how many of us take on a business writing exercise – email, blog post, even web page – without thoroughly thinking through the key issues needed to make that piece of writing work properly … before we write anything down?

Most of us fall victim to it. Even I do, and I’ve been a professional business writer since Madison Avenue was a dirt track with an Algonquian name.

Think before you write, especially for business

Think before you write. And think about the right things, so you write what works for your business.

It’s all part of our tendency not to engage brain before putting fingers into gear. Here is one classic symptom, with a suggestion on how to treat it… [Read more…]

Writing for business in the third-age: old? No, new.

People in the “third-age” who are running businesses are not old f*rts. In fact many of them are new entrepreneurs.

When I go home to Canada every summer I work a lot with my good friend and colleague Trudy Van Buskirk – a stalwart women-in-business coach and networker, founder of a number of online and offline business networking groups in Toronto. And just to make the challenge a bit more interesting she also a) is the wrong side of 60 and b) has disabilities.

Writing for business for third-age entrepreneurs on HTWB

Thanks to the internet it’s very easy for anyone of any age to keep bang up to date with their chosen business or industry.

What has struck me over the last few years of leading blogging and business writing workshops¬†for Trudy and her clients are the high levels of energy, enthusiasm, business acumen, hunger for further learning and downright grit that all of these people pour into their businesses. [Read more…]

Writing day-to-day business emails: how to get better results

If you need to write emails for business, job, sport, hobby, charity, recreation etc. (and who doesn’t?) there are quite a few very simple yet effective tips to make yours get more engagement and results… the results you want, too.

Writing day-to-day emails top tips from HTWBThese tips are not the same as you would use for email marketing, necessarily, although there are some common denominators. However if you want help with how to write a stonking email advertising campaign, I recommend [Read more…]

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