How to write a better cliché – Writing From The Heart

We’re all using clichés like this at the moment and the repetitiveness is making my teeth itch. In this edition of “Writing From The Heart” we take a humorous but nonetheless heart-felt look at how our current clichés are letting us down, and how we can come up with better and stronger alternatives.

How to write a better cliche - some ideas for words that express current sentiments more accurately than some currently in use (humor!)

Unicorns: fat little grey Shetland ponies tarted up with tinsel and a conical piece of plastic tubing stuck on to their browbands.

If the following make your teeth itch, too, read on and we’ll all have a good scratch…while checking out some more sensible alternatives…!

Do you write and speak these Clichés du Jour?

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How to write but get it horribly wrong

I must share the following correspondence (identity concealed) I received last night from an organisation I respect … and which had been very badly let down by some crude, thoughtless writing on the part of their marketing communication suppliers.

This is how a mere few words of incompetent writing can create a car crash of bad feeling and potentially significant harm to the organisation concerned. I have edited out the extraneous bits so you get the picture faster.

When marketing communication projects go wrong - how can clients cope with the fallout from the car crash? A classic example of this awful problem for businesses

Is this yet another example of a car crash in marketing communications?

The lessons we can learn from this are very, very valid…

A classic example of ill-informed writing by a supplier who should know better

Here is the email that kicked it all off … and the first few sentences make me feel slightly nauseated. Is it just me, or do they affect you in the same way? [Read more…]

Lawyer jokes – written in all good faith, Your Honor…

Why do we love to make jokes about lawyers? Is it because they’ve got legal market sewn up and know that sooner or later we’ll need them and they can charge us a lot of money?Lawyer jokes - written in all good faith, Your Honor...some of our favorite lawyer jokes and why we love to laugh about them, here on How To Write Better HTWBOr is it because deep down we respect them for the many years of hard work they, like some other professionals (e.g. doctors) do before they can earn even a half-decent wage … never mind that if we’re in deep doo-doo often they can get us out of it?

Whatever the answer, here are a few of my favourite lawyer jokes to give you a smile for the day…

Is the grass greener?

One afternoon a lawyer was riding in his limousine … [Read more…]

How to write better (or fewer?) swear words in English

Have you ever wondered why the British seem far more relaxed about using swear words in writing and speech than people from other English-speaking nations?

Many linguists are of the opinion that because swear words are used much more commonly in English-language film and TV programmes, on live radio and TV (hopefully after the watershed), and in general conversation, the words have gradually lost their rudeness and shock-value.

is it wrong to swear in writing

Can some swearing is speech and writing be justified?

Which could be a shame, in a way. If current swear words have lost their mojos, how next can we express ourselves with vigour and shock factor? But that’s probably for another article/thought piece.

It’s true that many millennials use rude language pretty freely wherever they live within the USA, Canada, Australia and other English language areas. But if you are the wrong side of 25 years old, you may well be influenced by older values that vary wildly from country to country.

UPDATE January 27, 2018 … Just published by academic Debbie Cameron on her Debuk blog: here is an extract:

“Asking whether women should swear is a bit like asking whether women should have children out of wedlock, or weigh more than seven stone: it’s a question designed for no other purpose than to allow people to air their prejudices. And those prejudices are, in most cases, socially selective. If a single mother on benefits peppers her discourse with ‘f*ck, tw*t and b*stard’, people say she’s ignorant, unable to express herself in any other way. If a stand-up comedian who went to public (private) school uses the same words in his act, people say it’s edgy and subversive.” Seems that people have serious double standards where swearing is concerned. Read this article – as well as the rest of mine here!

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Could you turn your blog into a best-selling book? A swift tutorial…

How to write better for both blogs and books … this is an update of my earlier article on this topic. As time goes by we are seeing many more blogs being turned into books. The options for people with a powerful story to tell – whether in business, social or other fields – have never been so good in terms of converting such stories, often expressed initially as blog posts, into eBooks, print books, and other formats.

How to turn a blog into a book

How to think about a book in terms of a blog, to start with

A few years ago I was working with a group of writers and one of them was discussing his ideas for a nonfiction memoir (book.) After a short time it became obvious that his concept was not just one book, but potentially three or four. [Read more…]

OF COURSE – a humorous poem about pompous egocentrics

How to write better humorous poetry … a tribute in verse this time, to people who love to patronise others by prefacing everything they say (almost) with the term “of course.” These people invariably consider themselves (or want to be considered) as superior in knowledge on the topic concerned. And “of course,” by reading what they have to say and taking it in, you are acknowledging their superiority…

Funny poem about the term of course

Hmmm…I don’t think so. Do you? Read on…

OF COURSE

“Of course” is such a snotty term
Used by controlling a-holes
It works its way into a worm
That patronises all souls. [Read more…]

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