Snotty words and phrases: why you mustn’t write them

Do you ever write snotty (i.e. pompous, patronising, condescending) words or phrases … I hope, by accident?

Pompous language

Meet the Snotties.

It’s alarmingly easy to write stuff you think is precise and correct, only to find that as far as your target audience is concerned you come across as a pretentious old/young goat.

Who, moi? My writing is pompous, snotty and stuffy?

Could be. [Read more…]

How to write with a co-writer or two

Many of us – in any number of job roles – are well used to working within a team, which might suggest that writers can work in a team in a similar way. Uh, uh: not necessarily. Why? Read on. If you need to collaborate with another worker – whether for business or other activity, for a blog, article, report, white paper, brochure, etc…here are some tips you might find helpful.

Writing with more than one author

A camel is a horse designed (and written about) by a committee.

Probably the most difficult part of working within a team as one or two of the “writers,” is the way that these roles can become politically sensitive.

Why does being “the writer” in a team suggest authority?

[Read more…]

What to write to someone whose child has died

Have you ever said or written something, trying to be helpful when someone’s child has died, only to realise that was probably the worst thing you could have done?

what to write to bereaved parents

Nothing can possibly replace or compensate for the child they lost.

Some years ago my next-door neighbours got married. As we lived in adjacent terrace/town houses, were good friends, and it was summer, we opened up both homes for a circular party which went on until well into the next day and on arising that next morning I found various sleeping bodies in my house with no idea who the hell they were.

No worries: all were wedding guests and the bride, groom, my partner and I managed to make a hangover-curing breakfast for all before booting them out and returning to bed to catch up on sleep. The wife was pregnant at the time. At full term she went into labour, and delivered their son, Jack. He died a few hours later. [Read more…]

How to write political spin

You really can’t fail to admire the ways in which political journalists and politicians manage to write accounts of events and issues which, though vaguely accurate if you stretch your imagination, vary hysterically and often hilariously in how the subjects are portrayed.

political spin

Spin description of a prison sentence: a “holiday paid for by Her Majesty.”

What exactly do we mean by “political spin?”

According to our beloved Wikipedia

“In public relations and politicsspin is a form of propaganda, achieved through providing a biased interpretation of an event or campaigning to persuade public opinion in favor or against some organization or public figure. While traditional public relations and advertising may also rely on altering the presentation of the facts, “spin” often implies the use of disingenuousdeceptive, and highly manipulative tactics.[1]”

[Read more…]

What to write to overseas friends about Brexit…LOL

As we’re all wondering just what the hell will happen about Brexit to those of us who live in the UK, it can hardly be surprising that people living outside of the UK are utterly bewildered and wondering what even more about what will happen next.

I thought, therefore, that I would jot down a short, jocular poem (which you can sing to a favourite country music track, if you prefer) about Brexit to share when you’re emailing or texting your friends overseas. This poem will explain to them about as much as any of us here in the UK know.

Humorous poem about Brexit
THE BREXIT BLUES

(with apologies for a few expletives, but I have asterisked them.)

I got the Brexit blues, it’s giving me pain, danged Brexit
That Theresa May’s a star but she ain’t goin’ very far
‘Cos those good old boys called “Bruxellaires***
Got her right by her short hairs
And there ain’t nobody figures how she hacks it. [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…]

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