De-clutter your website

Wednesday, 28th May, 2014 by Susannah

Putting away winter clothes and getting out summer things makes me think, yet again, that I must get rid of some. Everything I don’t wear makes it harder to find the thing I want. It’s the same with a website: every extra page or bit of information means work for you to manage and makes […]

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Doges and lolcats

Tuesday, 18th February, 2014 by Will

I don’t normally write about internet memes, but I do like to write about the way language changes and I think that increasingly those changes are conceived online. Captioned pictures of animals speaking in a unique way are nothing new. We’ve had the “O RLY?” owl and the lolcat but the latest addition is the […]

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This one weird trick will change how you write forever!

Friday, 7th February, 2014 by Will

I apologise. I have oversold myself with that headline. But I bet you couldn’t wait to click and find out what the trick was. Well, you’re not the only one. Sites like Upworthy have started to forego search engine optimisation in favour of writing headlines that people want to click on, known as “clickbait”. The […]

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Word of the year 2013: troll

Friday, 20th December, 2013 by Will

I’ve picked ‘troll’ because it has recently changed its meaning. I’m not talking about the word in the sense of goat-bothering, flesh-eating monsters. I’m not even talking about the change it experienced around 20 years ago, when it started to refer to problematic users on internet message boards. A bit of history: most online forums […]

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Pathetic puns

Tuesday, 12th November, 2013 by Will

So some writers love puns. They think it’s clever to make a sneaky little play on words for their readers to appreciate. There is a good example with the new ‘Walkie Talkie’ skyscraper in London. It was in the news over the summer for acting as a giant parabolic mirror and focusing the sun’s rays […]

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Epic writing and reading

Friday, 18th October, 2013 by Susannah

Did you hear the late Seamus Heaney’s reading of Beowulf on Radio 4? It sounded wonderful. I only vaguely followed the story, but that didn’t matter. It was still lovely to listen to and made me want to read it. Epics and sagas were meant to be listened to. Most weren’t written down until much […]

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When your audience doesn’t understand

Tuesday, 8th October, 2013 by Rupert

We often hear people say: “That’s not jargon; everyone knows what it means.” But do they really? One of our clients was giving a presentation recently when he noticed that several of his audience appeared to be distracted by their mobiles. Eventually he caught the eye of one as he looked up from his phone. […]

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Phabulous news – phablet’s in the dictionary!

Wednesday, 28th August, 2013 by Will

A quick phablet update for all phablet fans. It’s made it into Oxford Dictionaries Online. Note that this is not the same thing as the much-adored Oxford English Dictionary. The ODO updates faster, adding new words much more regularly than the OED. Other new additions are selfie, and omnishambles coined by The Thick of It […]

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Lack of clarity masks incompetence

Wednesday, 17th July, 2013 by Susannah

I’ve just had a most revealing exchange with my electricity company. They wrote asking me to read my own meter. In the block of flats where I live, this meant I would have to arrange for the managing agent to let me in to a locked room. One sentence in the company’s letter puzzled me. […]

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