Search engines: how you have murdered the art of copywriting

At one time, advertising copywriters were almost the most important people in the ad business. Today, copywriting is offered as a side dish on most VAs‘ admin menus. Professional freelance copywriters today are lucky to get paid the same daily rate their colleagues got back in the 1980s.

Rolls Royce advert

Probably the most famous advertising headline ever, written by the legendary David Ogilvy – yet Google would turn its nose up at it.

What has happened? Search engines have happened, that’s what. Consumers no longer read advertisements; they tap in keywords. It doesn’t take talent to write keywords; it just takes a little skill in basic arithmetic.

Copywriting? Whassat?

[Read more…]

How to write in body language

Have you ever expressed regret about written communications because they don’t allow you to “read” – and use – body language? I have, and many others appear to have done so as well.

Writing in body language

There are ways to compensate for lack of body language when you’re communicating in text.

One of the most obvious places where the lack of body language can cause misinterpretations leading to discussions, arguments and worse, is in social media comments. Just one sentence that’s a bit thoughtless or flippant in the wrong circumstances can make a fire break out and within minutes there are dozens or even hundreds of trolls fanning the flames into the second Great Fire of London.

But that’s not the only problem area. [Read more…]

Why print newspapers are not good for alternative facts

Every year when I come “home” to Canada and stay with my uncle and aunt in Toronto, one of my greatest treats is to read a real newspaper.

Alternative facts are harder to write in paper newspapers

Does the ethos of old-fashioned print newspapers make it harder for “alternative facts” to be believed?

Not the digitally erstatz version of The Times or the The Daily Mail or The Washington Post or any other online me-too news resource that doesn’t fool anyone into thinking it shares similarities with the real thing… [Read more…]

U.S. English vs. British English – What’s the Difference, Anyway?

“Two countries divided by a common language” … so said, allegedly, the great George Bernard Shaw. But is it true? San Francisco based freelance writer Laura Buckler shares her take on this evergreen debate, this time from an American’s point of view (rather than mine!) Here’s Laura…

US vs British English

The Brits are not the only ones to blame for changing the English language.

I spent a month in London. They mocked my English. In fact, a few people said I wasn’t speaking English at all. They said I spoke “American.”

Hey: I’m not angry. It was actually funny to see them laughing at my accent just as we laugh at Brits over here. [Read more…]

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…]

What to write to spammers

The first thought to cross our minds is, DON’T! Answering a spam email or comment only tells the spammer that you are a live link and they’ll pester you forever afterwards.

Should we write back to spammers?

How much spam really has been reduced as a result of GDPR and other data protection reforms in 2018?

However there are times when you should throw caution to the wind and have a bit of fun with the spam you receive, if for no other reason than it’s a little bit of revenge to pay them back for bothering you.

But what about GDPR and all the other privacy rules that were tightened up this year?

What about them, already. [Read more…]

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