Why teachers drink: some written evidence

Many thanks to my intrepid cousin Alyson for this alarming information…

Why teachers drink: some written evidence - humor

Why teachers drink…

These are genuine answers (from 16 year olds)….. and they WILL breed.

Q. Name the four seasons
A. Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar

Q. Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink
A. Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists

Q. How is dew formed?
A. The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire

Q. What causes the tides in the oceans?
A. The tides are a fight between the earth and the moon. All water tends to flow towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins the fight

Q. What guarantees may a mortgage company insist on?
A. If you are buying a house they will insist that you are well endowed

Q. In a democratic society, how important are elections?
A. Very important. Sex can only happen when a male gets an election

Q. What are steroids?
A. Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs

Q.. What happens to your body as you age?
A. When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental

Q. What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty?
A. He says goodbye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery

Q. Name a major disease associated with cigarettes
A. Premature death

Q. What is artificial insemination?
A. When the farmer does it to the bull instead of the cow

Q. How can you delay milk turning sour?
A. Keep it in the cow

Q. How are the main 20 parts of the body categorised (e.g. The abdomen)?
A. The body is consisted into 3 parts – the brainium, the borax and the abdominal cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels: A, E, I, O ,U….

Q. What is the fibula?
A. A small lie

Q. What does ‘varicose’ mean?
A. Nearby

Q. What is the most common form of birth control?
A. Most people prevent contraception by wearing a condominium

Q. Give the meaning of the term ‘Caesarean section’
A. The caesarean section is a district in Rome

Q. What is a seizure?
A. A Roman Emperor.

Q. What is a terminal illness?
A. When you are sick at the airport.

Q. Give an example of a fungus. What is a characteristic feature?
A. Mushrooms. They always grow in damp places and they look like umbrellas

Q. Use the word ‘judicious’ in a sentence to show you understand its meaning
A. Hands that judicious can be soft as your face.

Q. What does the word ‘benign’ mean?
A. Benign is what you will be after you be eight.

Q. What is a turbine?
A. Something an Arab or Shreik wears on his head.

Driving your customers and colleagues to drink with your bad writing? Here’s the cure!

“How To Write About Yourself”…how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write

“Business Writing Made Easy”…everything you need to know about writing for business in English

“Banana Skin Words and how not to slip on them”…over 1,500 spelling and grammar tips to perfect your written English

photo credit: mark sebastian via photopin cc

Why “professionals” need to learn business writing skills

“Professionals” working in healthcare, education and other non-commercial arenas increasingly are called upon to write information leaflets, web content and other text aimed at their “Joe Public” audiences. But can these people rework their own expertise and often antiseptic style and approach to create text that ordinary mortals can appreciate and understand? There’s a lot they can learn – and use – from the skills we use to communicate business messages.

Audiences of written material delivered by doctors, nurses, teachers and others usually are not up to speed on the latest information and jargon related to the subject matter concerned, but – they need and/or want to learn about it.

Yet all too often, the creation of information leaflets, letters, newsletters and other material to meet such needs is left up to “professionals” who are too close to the subject matter and aren’t trained in writing skills. Often this leads to text that’s inappropriate in style and/or content.

One of the other things I do apart from writing in here …!! is to help out at our district hospital as a volunteer member of a group of users of cancer services. Not surprisingly I often get asked to comment on and edit information output aimed at patients facing cancer treatments and other serious issues.

Prior to our current phase of chop-chop cuts in the NHS I was talking to a senior healthcare professional about doing some workshops on how to write better patient information … and we had many folks, particularly in the advanced nursing area, very interested in learning from what I can offer. Whether those workshops will go ahead now I’m not sure, but certainly the need was there – and was perceived to be there.

How can my business writing techniques possibly help in a non-commercial setting?

Simple, really. My business writing techniques that I teach apply, in all honesty, to anyone wanting to get a message across to an audience effectively, no matter who they are or what you want to convey. (More on that in “The MAMBA Way To Make Your Words Sell,” an eBook soon to be available on here.)

Here, in as small a nutshell as I can manage, are the basics of that – and how they work for anyone wanting to communicate messages even if they are not commercially related.

1. The First ‘M’—Mission

You start that process by creating a brief for yourself based on sorting out your objective—what you want to achieve. It’s no good thinking about what you want to say, because that often isn’t what you need to achieve. If you start by thinking of what you want to achieve, you’ll keep yourself focused on outcomes, not subjective desires.

2. The First ‘A’—Audience

If your message is going to work you don’t just need to know who your audience is, but also how they feel, what they need, how they think. You need to know what makes them tick so that your message will be on their wavelength. You need to get out there and find out, too—not necessarily rely on demographics data or other impersonal research. For worthwhile results, touch and feel.

3. The Second ‘M’—Media

Or “medium,” as usually there’s just the one. Before you can make the best of it, you need to understand its restrictions and its benefits. And you need to understand in what way that medium delivers your message to the audience—can they read it at their leisure on well-printed paper, or will they be rushing through messages on a computer screen? Can they understand it in English or should you have it translated into other appropriate languages?

4. The ‘B’—Benefits

We need to go back to that old sales issue of features versus benefits. Features are what something is, benefits are what it does for me. And here’s the key to it: “what’s in it for me?” Cruel though it may seem, that’s the only thing that really interests your audience. That’s a commercial notion, but it should be applied to non-commercial text too. Everyone needs to know how they’ll benefit from what you’re telling them.

5. The Final ‘A’—Articulation

Choosing the right tone of voice and the right angle of language to make the audience feel comfortable with what you’ve written and get the best from it. Ensuring that the text remains focused on “you,” the reader or viewer or listener. Avoiding pomposity and getting the right balance between professionalism and informality.

As I said above, there’s a lot more to come in my MAMBA eBook. But for those of you who are “professionals” and particularly those working in the public sector, take note.

More useful writing help for professionals:

“Super Speeches”…how to write and deliver them well

“How To Write About Yourself”…how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write

“Banana Skin Words and how not to slip on them”…over 1,500 spelling and grammar tips to perfect your written English