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…]

Let’s hear it for the Ugly Duckling of marketing

Today we welcome my good friend and fellow scribe Stephen Church – a brilliant, naturally talented copywriter whose refreshing approach has gained many fans in our neck of the woods here in England. In this article Steve laments the way words have become the poor relation of website creativity – something I used to lament, too, when I was working as a copywriter. Over to Steve…

ugly duckling of marketing

Goodbye, ugly duckling. Hello, elegant swan.

Website words really matter – but no-one seems to care

Words. Do you remember them? Those little squiggly things, line after line, neatly laid out across the page. I’ll tell you something. They matter. They really do. [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 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…]

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…]

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