True-ish written facts about England in the 1500s…

It’s hard to know where humor starts and history leaves off here, but some of the following are ridiculous enough to be true. Click on the links to see what others have said about these popular sayings…

What did bringing home the bacon mean in the 15th century?

Do you “bring home the bacon” and then “chew the fat?”

Barely bathing
Most people got married in June, because they took their yearly bath in May and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odour. Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, next all the other sons and men, next the women and finally the children; last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it; hence the saying, [Read more…]

Write me une lettre if you plait…

There are bilingual countries, and then there are bilingual cities, and then there is Ottawa. (Canada.)

Writing in Canadian English - or Frech

Writing, reading and speaking in Ottawa, Canada is a muddle of French and English. Bonne luck…

Even though it’s situated in Ontario, just (a predominantly English-speaking province but with Québec just across the river), being the federal capital and therefore holier than thou, everything in Ottawa happens in both English and French.

All the same, Ottawa is surprisingly unstuffy. [Read more…]

If you spam in English, FFS learn how to write it first

Do you spit fur and feathers when you get a spam-mail that insults your website’s performance … in bad, incorrect English? I do. I know I should just hit the delete key but these people’s conceited belligerence brings out the Taurean beast in me, as well as my writer’s indignancy at their often ridiculous use of our crazy language.

If you spam in English, FFS learn how to write it first

Do yourselves a favour: hire a native English language copywriter to rewrite your mailshots so at least some English speakers might take you seriously.

Jenny finds my website “very perspective” and it could soon disappear from search

Our Jenny Jones works for a company called Semalt.com, based in the Ukraine (or maybe Russia.) Here’s how she thought she could bully me into submission, notwithstanding the fact that her English is laughable… [Read more…]

Writing style? What writing style?

“If any of you thinks you have your own writing style, you can leave the room now,” said the wonderful and inimitable Bill Galley, who was our senior tutor at the (then) Watford Art School Advertising Writing Course in southern England.

With his gruff voice, aggressive beard à la James Robertston Justice in the “Carry On” movies and an up-yer-nose attitude, Bill was a veteran of the 20th century Madison Avenue creative advertising era. Despite being a Brit his b*lls were more than big enough to make him heard above many of the famous types who populated the advertising industry at that time in the USA.

Writing style? What writing style?

Our beloved course tutor, Bill Galley, looked a little like James Robertson Justice from the old “Carry On” movies. His eyes weren’t quite so skewed, however…

In his latter years Bill freelanced back in London and paid the rent by teaching us little squirts how to write ads. After we graduated he became our mentor and go-to expert on anything from creative brainstorming to how to win an interview to how to cope with and mend broken hearts. We were distraught when he died; he had become like another grandfather to us all.

And we always remembered those words about not having your own writing style. [Read more…]

We may as well laugh at English grammar…it’s THAT ridiculous!

Grammar in the English language is so ridiculous that we may as well laugh at it – it helps make up for the irritation of getting it wrong.

We may as well laugh at English grammar...it's THAT ridiculous!

True in my case. But it’s my job. Well, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it…


Here are a few more examples to give us all a smile and a chuckle … enjoy.

English grammar jokes – except they’re not jokes: they’re true

The past, the present and the future walked into a bar. It was tense. [Read more…]

Grammar humor – what a difference a dot makes

If you think punctuation is for the precious grammar police, have a read of these. Yes, most of them are funny.

Grammar humor - what a difference a dot makes
But trust me … incorrect punctuation really can get you into some serious doo-doo. Be warned, read on, and enjoy!

If you don’t think punctuation is important …

…try forgetting the comma when you write to someone “I’m sorry, I love you.”

Other classic whoopsies

[Read more…]

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