How To Write Better: thank you, 2 million page viewers in the last 4 years!

More than 2 million page views in 4 years! Nothing could have made me happier than being greeted on my return from Canada (Sept 10th, 2017) to find that our humble How To Write Better (the REAL one) has exceeded the 2 million page view mark since September 1st, 2013.

2 millions page views for HTWB
For a niche site that’s a labour of love (rather than the off-shoot of another site that exists in the USA as part of a large commercial enterprise…) I have to say I am truly proud of our achievements. [Read more…]

N O – or rather, yes! English business jargon starting with N and O

Are you the sort of person who would take a “no brainer” “on a go forward basis?” Or would you “nuke” the idea and say “not on my watch?” More business and general English jargon, this time from N to O.

More English business jargon demystified on HTWB - this time from N to O

It’s “not rocket science” to be “on the ball” if you wear an “old school tie…”

English business jargon starting with N to O

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Writing business we-wee is bad – but what about me-mee?

As you probably know I am forever advising businesses not to write about how “we” do this and “we” do that, unless they can relate that to how they benefit customers very, very quickly.

Writing about yourself in the first person

If you’re a sole trader, should you write about yourself in the first person?

That’s largely because people writing “we-wee” are too inwardly focused and forget to share with readers what’s in it for them, which in business is critically important. But recently I have been taking a look at websites belonging to, and I assume written by, individual solopreneurs and sole traders. And I have to concede, they have a problem that is harder to solve.

We, me, him, her or who the hell does “me” write as?

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J for jokes right through to M … English business jargon

Would you dare “let the cat out of the bag” or would you do better to “keep a stiff upper lip?” Or would you do some “key smashing” instead?

Business jargon by Suzan St Maur

Do you turn into a “junkyard dog” when a “johnny-come-lately” annoys you with some “jiggery-pokery?”

English business jargon from J to M

Jiggery-pokery: any slightly underhand or potentially suspicious, dishonest activity. A British term, this is said to be variant of the Scottish “joukery-pawkery” from the 19th century. [Read more…]

HI there, business jargon … explained from H to I

Would you dare subject your “head honcho” to a “haymaker,” or would you be “in a pickle” were you to do so? More English business jargon terms and their origins – this time starting with H and I.

English Business Jargon on HTWB

Do you “have money to burn,” but find that “if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen?

Hard head: someone who probably is very good at what they do, but does not take criticism lightly, or someone who is stubborn (or both!) convinced that they are right no matter what. A 20th century term. Can also mean someone who has hard convictions about their area of expertise and has every justification for being so. Finally, can refer to someone who is “hard headed” and so does not allow emotional issues to interfere with their business or otherwise strategic decisions, but who ultimately has everyone’s best interests at heart.

Hasn’t batted an eyelid: given that people who are nervous or stressed are supposed to blink frequently, this term – popularized in 20th century English language markets – refers to someone who has not shown any sign of concern, agitation, worry, excitement or other emotion because they are not blinking more often than they would in relaxed circumstances. [Read more…]

How to write in Canadian English…

If you want to annoy a Canadian, try telling them that you picked up on their American accent. That always does the trick to me even though my accent is tempered with a good few decades of British influence.

Writing in Canadian English

Writing Canadian English is not as simple as chopping it between US and UK English half-and-half…

But it’s not just the accent that’s different. (Tip: listen for the “ou” diphthong in a word like “house” … if it sounds like ha-owse  it’s American, but if it sounds like hoose  it’s Canadian. Plus, Canadians don’t whine/drone anything like as much as some Yanks do.)

Believe it or not, written Canadian English has a personality of its own

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