Writing about cycling dangers: where next?

About a year ago I was trolled by nearly 400, er, trollers, because I wrote a social media post saying that the death of a lady cyclist – mother, and citizen – due to a collision with a van in one of the UK’s very crowded town centres – might have been avoided had there been better (and separated) facilities for motor-powered vehicles and cycles in that town.

Writing about cycling dangers: where next?

“Actually motorists give cyclists a wider berth if they aren’t wearing helmets, anyway” says Rosie. Would you take that chance? And with your small child in a flimsy cycle trailer?

These cyclist trolls infested every element of my social media presence, my Amazon author page, my Google status and more to the point threatened me in my home (at the time I lived alone) and followed me around in every imaginable online place.

They were furiously writing to all and sundry about what an awful woman I must be to say that cyclists should watch out for motorised traffic and ride defensively, rather than blithely hit the roads and expect any other road users to shape up and ship out of the way. Especially in the southern part of the UK where totally inadequate roads are mostly choked with heavy traffic and grumpy drivers, the self-righteous superiority attitude of many cyclists is, in my view, an accident waiting to happen.

Here we go again … are small children safe on crowded roads in these flimsy cycle trailers?

[Read more…]

Letter to India: is your written and spoken English too good?

Dear English-speakers from India,
One thing that has struck me many, many times in corresponding with Indian people in English, is that the English you speak and write is so utterly perfect in grammar, syntax, spelling and general presentation. You have learned the language as it should be spoken and written, with the grace and elegance the language should still be using now.

Letter to India - is your english too good?

Is Indian English too good for everyday international communication?

The trouble is, the standards of English used for nearly all communication in the main English language markets have deteriorated. Proper, well-mannered and well-constructed English as so many Indian people speak and write is (sadly) viewed as old-fashioned and long-winded. In our modern throwaway society all but the essentials in language have become disposable, too. [Read more…]

Writing online: naked words work hardest

People say a picture’s worth 1,000 words. But a few right, naked words are worth much more than 1,000 wrong ones whether pictorial or otherwise. Especially online in blog posts, web text, and above all in social media posts and comments.

Writing online: naked words work hardestWhy?
Because even though we have images, video, audio, infographics or other gizmos online, what really reverberates is words. Text.

Despite the popularity of live video on platforms like Facebook, Instagram et al, can you be sure that viewers will retain your message loud and clear? Even if they’re a little bit distracted by your beautiful earrings, the potted plant growing out of your left ear, or the zit on your chin? [Read more…]

How to write better for blogging plus…

Have you ever thought just how valuable your blog can be, as the basis for a range of content to promote your business or interest? How to write better for blogging plusNow that more and more social media platforms are not only accepting, but also encouraging much longer posts, you have widely increased opportunities get your message out there.

We were talking about this at meeting a couple of days ago

I was asked to lead a discussion about blogging at a networking event last week and saw a few eyes glance upwards when I mentioned the “B” word. But contrary to the views of some in the room, blogging still hasn’t gone out of fashion. Quite the opposite, in fact. [Read more…]

Does your writing get invaded by the CAPITALIZERS?

Do You Capitalise Every Word In Your Titles And Headlines?

Or do you Capitalise Only the Nouns and big Words in Titles and Headlines?

Why capital letters should not be over used

Or do you, perhaps, capitalise Common Nouns as well as Proper Nouns?

OR DO YOU WRITE LONG PASSAGES ALL IN CAPITAL LETTERS THINKING THAT READERS WILL ASSUME THEY’RE IMPORTANT AND SO PAY ATTENTION?

It’s the invasion of the CAPITALIZERS!

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The difference between writing and wording: a guide for stupid penny-pinchers

Now that it’s so easy to do your own marketing online, the value of soft-skills professionals has come into question. Welcome to the Idiot’s Guide to p*ss-poor approaches as in the following…

  • Who needs to pay professional videographers, for example, when you can shoot a perfectly acceptably sales video on your IPhone (never mind that brilliant video camera you can buy for for little or nothing from Amazon) and edit it up a bit on your Mac – upload to YouTube and/or your website, and bingo?
  • Who needs to pay professional photographers to shoot images of your new product or service when your cellphone works just as well and costs nothing?
  • Who needs to use professional graphic designers when you have a world of free art out there you can use to put almost any requirement together?
  • And who needs to use a professional writer to do just “a little bit of wording” for your website or brochure?
Why cheap creative marketing resources are a piss-poor investment

How clever is it for ignorant businesses to sneer at professionals in writing, design, web development and other marketing areas of expertise?

Technology offers many things, but it can’t provide unique human talent. Yet this is being denigrated and cheapened in parallel with the techno-cheapening of everything else.

[Read more…]

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