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…]

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…]

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