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…]

Rolling the RRRs of English business jargon and slang…

Do you rock when you rise and shine, or does someone have to reach out and railroad you? More of our ridiculous language’s jargon and slang, for business and beyond.

Jargon and slang used for business in English

Do you Rock when you Rock a fashionable outfit?

Railroad: to force, or at least to press, a project or process through to rapid completion, often without proper concern for people and places that might be adversely affected by it. The term is thought to originate from the days in the 19th century when railroads (railways) were being built at speed in many countries.

Raincheck: a postponement due to unforeseen circumstances. This word – sometimes shown as two words – comes from the USA and was used when a baseball game had to be called off due to bad weather… [Read more…]

The difference between writing and wording: a guide for stupid penny-pinchers

Now that it’s so easy to do your own marketing online, the value of soft-skills professionals has come into question. Welcome to the Idiot’s Guide to p*ss-poor approaches as in the following…

  • Who needs to pay professional videographers, for example, when you can shoot a perfectly acceptably sales video on your IPhone (never mind that brilliant video camera you can buy for for little or nothing from Amazon) and edit it up a bit on your Mac – upload to YouTube and/or your website, and bingo?
  • Who needs to pay professional photographers to shoot images of your new product or service when your cellphone works just as well and costs nothing?
  • Who needs to use professional graphic designers when you have a world of free art out there you can use to put almost any requirement together?
  • And who needs to use a professional writer to do just “a little bit of wording” for your website or brochure?
Why cheap creative marketing resources are a piss-poor investment

How clever is it for ignorant businesses to sneer at professionals in writing, design, web development and other marketing areas of expertise?

Technology offers many things, but it can’t provide unique human talent. Yet this is being denigrated and cheapened in parallel with the techno-cheapening of everything else.

[Read more…]

Writing about yourself: how not to fall into the I-ME trap

One of the most common among classic writing (and speaking) grammar goofs is the I or ME dilemma, when I-ME does something with someone else.

Is it you and I or you and me?

Did Dad and I go out for brunch yesterday, or was it Dad and me?

Without resorting to formal grammar jargon, here is a simplified but very easy to grasp illustration of the problem and its solutions…and scroll down if you want an easy trick to make sure you stay out of the I-ME trap from now on…

Writing quiz: which of the following are correct?

1.Deanna, Mike, Tom and I went to the movies last night. [Read more…]

Editing your written work: how not to miss mistakes

Today please welcome guest author Lucy Benton – originally from Illinois, USA and now resident of Sydney, Australia. Lucy is a writing and editing expert who also runs a superb blog, ProWritingPartner, which I thoroughly recommend as a goldmine of first-class grammar, editing and general writing resources. Sz.

How to edit your text properly

You ought to remove the flab as well as the excess so your reader truly understands your ideas

We are all well aware of the fact that creating something in a draft allows us to lay down the ideas and to clarify the entire structure of what we’re writing. However, the sharpness and the value of the text comes next – when you edit and refine what you want to say. [Read more…]

DIY advertisers: why titles don’t work, and headlines do

When you advertise your business, do you give the advert a title – or a headline?

Ads (a.k.a. “adverts”) with a title often are also “upside down adverts” which you need to avoid if you’re going to get the maximum number of leads and enquiries from each of your ads.

Why titled don't work in advertising

Books need titles: adverts need headlines.

Never forget that an ad – even a small, low-cost ad in a local magazine or “handbook” – needs to offer readers something “in it for them…” not just a title being your name or what you do.

Don’t forget that old-but-very-relevant point … “what’s in it for me” is what sells.

That means, to grab attention and hold it, you need to start your adverts with a strong headline. Not a title.

[Read more…]

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