Yearly Archives: 2016

Sport metaphors and why to avoid them

I usually write for an international audience, particularly as I work in technology marketing and we’re mostly targeting niche, global markets. As a result, I’m always conscious of avoiding local colloquialisms or country-specific words, as well as writing clearly for

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Why you need a style guide

It may sound like a detail, but agreeing on a style guide for your project – or your whole company – will save countless arguments. Usually, no one can agree on exactly how particular things should be written. Does this

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Explaining Nobel Prize winners

It’s that time of year, when we get to hear some proper scientists on BBC Radio 4 explaining what they do. And newspapers grapple with how to explain topography and exotic matter to their readers. Yes, the Nobel Prizes were

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Can you tell the age of a writer?

Recently, I was asked (perfectly reasonably) by a client to do some edits an article I’d ghost-written. One of the main changes needed was to go for a younger tone of voice – which got me thinking, what does that

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On procrastination

I admit it, I’m writing this blog post to get out of doing real work. I’ve got a press release and two articles on my to do list, and I’m putting off getting started. Partly I’m just easing myself into

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Why are there no copywriters in the movies?

When I was thinking about what to write about next for this blog, I idly considered writing about portrayals of PR people in films. But a quick Google showed me that topic’s already been done to death. So I thought

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Distributor Arrow buys EE Times, EDN and other UBM brands

Last week, distributor Arrow Electronics announced it has bought the electronics and tech portfolio of publisher UBM, including heavyweight global brands such as EE Times, EDN and TechOnline (and hat tip to Publitek, who I think broke the news first).

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Portmanteau words: bodacious or bogus?

Today I learned a new term – portmanteau words, formed by combining two existing words and their meanings. Apparently this term was first coined by Lewis Carroll to explain the words ‘slithy’ and ‘mimsy’ in the Jabberwocky. The general consensus

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Why ‘passionate’ isn’t just a marketing buzzword

If you’re like me, you’re likely to be highly attuned to meaningless buzzwords in written English, and to run a mile from text that has like, literally millions of exaggerations. One of the worst offenders is the word ‘passionate’. Is

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Let the writer do their job

As a copywriter, I’m used to my writing going through many rounds of edits, and having substantial changes imposed by clients. That’s fine – that’s what I’m here for – and I don’t mind at all, even if I don’t

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