An election song to sing to doorstep canvassers…

If you’re in the UK you could be forgiven for saying you’re sick to death of local elections, general elections, referendums, etc. etc. So here is a little ditty you can recite or sing to the next group of canvassers to land on your doorstep, preferably to a tune similar to the first verses of Ella Fitzgerald’s “A Tisket, A Tasket.” (No, I’m not THAT old.)

funny poem about elections on HTWB


Elections, elections
Some purified collections
Of bullsh*t, pure bullsh*t
You really can’t deny. [Read more…]

Local advertisers: stop writing we-wee and start getting a decent ROI

Just over three years ago we published about the we-weeing problem in marketing material, and much as most pro writers like me bang on about it, it’s still raging away.

Local advertisers we-weeing on their customers HTWB

This historic little guy, Manneken Pis, has been we-weeing on people in Brussels, Belgium for 400 years. Fortunately this is good, for his business.

The reason why I am throwing the toys out of my pram this time is because I feel sorry for the ever-constant stream of local magazines that set up in all good faith, sell advertising space to local businesses, and go out of business themselves within a couple of years.

Why? Here’s my theory and it’s not their fault … it’s the fault of the we-wee local advertisers who, because they we-wee, don’t get the results they should from their advertising and so eventually abandon the local magazines as not cost-effective. Naughty, naughty and frankly, bloody ignorant.

Local advertisers: stop writing about how wonderful you are

(NB: After my rant, you’ll find 10 Tips on how to do it right, below!) [Read more…]

Another bumper edition of Daily Fail boo-boos

Who needs a joke book when you can read the UK’s Daily Fail and laugh at their hilarious mistakes? Here is the latest crop.

funny jokes and mistakes from the UK Daily Mail

“…as her horse comes in first place at the Gold Cup at Cheltenham races alongside husband Kieran Hayler” (NB: When this photo was taken Kieran was about one length behind the horse, hence out of shot, but was catching up.)

Watch you don’t spit your coffee out while reading the following…

At Victoria, trains were also heavily affected and a man was also taken to hospital after reportedly being hit by a newly-built entrance to the Underground station.
Get that newly-built entrance properly restrained before it hits someone else. [Read more…]

How to write a bloody awful blog post – update

It’s more than four years since this tongue-in-cheek article about business blogging appeared and looking at it again, I find it utterly terrifying.

writing bloody awful blog posts HTWB
Why? Because so little has changed. So little has improved. Day after day businesses are still churning out the bullsh*t I rather cruelly outline below.

So, Google, much as I would love to have updated the article to show how far we have come in four years’ worth of blogging experience, if I am to be honest with you, I can’t update a damned thing apart from one or two small points…

Let’s blog badly … and at least have a laugh about it

[Read more…]

How not to, er, write about faults on a commercial jetliner…

If you’re a little twitchy about flying United at the moment, take a look at this humorous list of maintenance complaints submitted by pilots (P) and solutions suggested by maintenance technicians (T) purportedly recorded by employees of an airline which, er, shall remain nameless.

How not to write airplane faults on HTWB

A very old image of what it may have been like to fly United in the past. Strangely, this may now be appropriate once again, especially on an over-booked flight…

The idea is that after every flight, pilots fill out a form, called a “gripe sheet” which tells technicians about problems with the aircraft. The technicians correct the problems, document their repairs on the form, then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight.

So what do these pilots and technical crews write about faults?

[Read more…]

Why we should, er, recycle words – not create new ones…

As we have more than 170,000 words in common usage in the English language, it seems wasteful and unkind to the planet to create new words when we have so many we can recycle.

recycling words on HTWB

Rinse, repeat, recycle. Who’s a pretty boy then?

Our thanks to good friend and colleague John Dale for pointing this out to us here on HTWB and sharing a selection to get us started. I have added a few of my own recyclable words, too… Sz.

Artery, n. The study of paintings

Bacteria, n. The back door of a cafeteria. [Read more…]