How important are grammar and spelling? Really?

Now that the mass media with its “newspeak” vocabulary has been part of our lives for several generations we really can’t afford to be pompous about spelling and grammar any more.

Even the stuffiest of academics has had to admit that stiffly formal writing is not clever; it’s boring. They may look down their noses at the language of popular websites, social media, blogs and so-on, but that’s the language nearly everyone speaks today.

article about spelling and grammarI won’t waste your time with my theories on why that has happened, but the bottom line is that English as a language has become simpler and less complex than it was 100 years ago.

And quite right, too. I’ve never understood why some people get so uppity about the fact that a language has evolved.

Well, you and I haven’t got time to mourn the relegation of Shakespearean English to the theatre, even if we want to. We’ve got work to do here and now, and these days we write as we speak.

“Writing as people speak” is not a cop out

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Swearing: would you open this book to find out more?

Please welcome once again my good friend and colleague Tsufit, from Toronto, whose emails are always interesting and this one, in particular, grabbed my attention. Swearwords are a hot topic in communications of all kinds today and Tsufit – as always – hits the nail right on the head…Sz.

Saw this book on display in a small local library. 

If you saw it on display in a library or a book store, would you open it?

cover illustration to promtoe book

Love it or hate it, one thing is for sure. [Read more…]

25 better writing tips to print and stick on your, er, wall

You may have noticed that I’ve started sharing some new/updated ‘how to write better’ tips in social media and in my email sig file.

I thought you also might like to have the first 25 here in one hit, maybe to print out and er, stick somewhere? 🙂

25 better writing tips from, you guessed it: How To Write Better

1.If you write regular blogs and plan them right, they can be turned into a great book.

2.Hate writing, but have to? Try dictating instead. Then transcribe, edit & hey presto!

3.Writing for marketing? Remember, it’s always about what’s in it for THEM, not you. [Read more…]

What to blog/vlog about at this time of year

One of my former copywriting colleagues was having a good old bitch earlier on Messenger about not having ideas for their next blog. I hit the roof.

illustration to article abut winter festivals

Autumn/fall and winter are a great time for festivals – and allied blogging.

“There’s so much to blog about at this time of the year, you could write one a day from now until New Year’s and not cover the same topic twice,” I rattled off on the keyboard chipping my newly-polished nails.

Use event dates not as blog topics, but as topic triggers

Let’s go back a few weeks (save those for next year) and check what there has been, as well as what’s to come before we pop the corks for New Year’s 2020. Here are just a few topics that can be triggered by associations with some of the world’s special days, and I know these ideas will trigger some more for you. [Read more…]

‘We pride ourselves…’ popular or pompous?

Now, small businesses, it’s time for your seasonal bottom-smacking from Suze for writing pompous ‘we-wee’ content that fools no-one and just makes you look like old fuddy-duddies.

Meet Sir Fuggled Doublebottom, a righteous Pompous Ass from Great Lakes Brewery on Vimeo

Yeah, OK, you pride yourselves. But do your clients/customers care?

I know, it’s cruel. [Read more…]

Gender pronouns: let’s start writing solutions

Once again the issue of non-binary pronouns has been highlighted with the recent declaration of pop star Sam Smith asking followers to drop the he/him and write/speak about ‘them’ and its derivatives.

An understandable and increasingly important issue we, in the writing world, need to contend with. But…

New pronouns

It’s evident that we need new thinking about gender and how we write about it. Here are a couple of ideas to get us started. Please join in and share your views!

Is the new shift already working?

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