Business advice

Promising and Delivering in Writing

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Promising and delivering are fairly central to any business. After all, if we don’t promise, no-one knows what we have to offer, while if we don’t deliver on the promises, our reputation won’t last long. So how does that apply to writing? The Promise Why should anyone read anything you write in connection with your Read More

Writing

White Horses and Copywriting

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There are white horses cut into hillsides all over Britain. They’re still being created — the horse near Folkestone was carved as recently as 2003 — but the oldest, and perhaps the most inspiring, is the White Horse of Uffington, on the Berkshire/Oxfordshire border. I visited it for the first time this summer, though I was Read More

Writing Advice

George Orwell and the English Language

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George Orwell has left a significant mark on how we speak and think. He’s given us phrases like Big Brother and Room 101, a yardstick to measure political manipulation and, when I was younger, an irrational fear of reaching the year 1984. He’s also given us Newspeak (and any number of similar coinings ending in Read More

Writing Advice

Painful Apostrophes

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Most, if not all, areas of expertise or professional interest come at a cost: the instinctive pain caused by non-experts getting it spectacularly wrong. I’m sure, for instance, it annoys doctors to hear popular medical fallacies, or accountants to come up against misinformation about tax obligations. I’m a writer, both by personal interest and profession. Read More

Writing Advice

Typos

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Everyone who writes makes typos. I certainly do. A while ago, I was writing a piece about insurance and discovered I’d invented an entirely new type of policy — against fire and food. Needless to say, I corrected it, and that’s really the point. You won’t avoid making typos, but the aim has to be Read More

Business

Plain Sailing on a Bumpy Road

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In a recent speech about Brexit, Theresa May claimed that the process wouldn’t be “plain sailing” and there would be “bumps in the road”. Politics and Brexit opinions apart, the comment did leave me wondering why anyone would attempt to sail on a road — with or without bumps. This isn’t May-bashing — she was Read More

Blogging

A Dark and Stormy Blog

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Everything around us is a story. Whether it’s the way reality is, or whether it’s how we’re programmed to see the world, we seem to be surrounded by meaningful sequences of events that tell us how and why things happened. They range from great world events to jokes or urban legends, and to some extent Read More