Writing tips and ideas blog

On our writing tips and ideas blog, Clarity brings you occasional thoughts about what makes writing work and what doesn't.


Susannah Ross, trainer and web specialist

Why wouldn’t you want to be clear?

The obvious answer is – if you want to mislead. A fascinating study published in the US Journal of Language and Social Psychology suggests that when scientists’ research turns out to be fraudulent, the language is often a giveaway. Two researchers at Stanford University, California, studied more than 250 scientific papers that had been found […]

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Susannah Ross, trainer and web specialist

Wogan’s words

Tributes to the much-loved broadcaster, Terry Wogan, speak of his ability to communicate with millions as if they were his friends. Many also mention his skilful use of the English language. When the BBC was taken to task some years ago for failing to police its presenters’ and reporters’ use of English, the campaigners made […]

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Rupert Morris, writer and trainer

Ulysses with an iPad

I am a third of the way through Ulysses, James Joyce’s famously unreadable and controversial work of literary genius, and I have made a crucial discovery. An iPad or similar device is an almost indispensable aid to enjoying a work as rich and allusion-packed as this. I never like to read the introduction to a […]

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Rupert Morris, writer and trainer

The truth about complaint handling

Can energy companies really improve their complaint handling? Currently, customers typically have to contact their supplier six times before their issue can be resolved. With Ofgem breathing down their necks, Energy UK, which represents the industry, insists: “Handling complaints well is a must. Suppliers are committed to improving and a programme of change is under […]

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Rupert Morris, writer and trainer

Learning from a writing master

Skewering the phoney and pretentious is one of the great pleasures of life. It doesn’t happen often enough. Thank goodness for the likes of Richard Ford, the American novelist, who sets much of his work in New Jersey, but writes about people who are recognisable anywhere. I just read this passage from The Lay of […]

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Susannah Ross, trainer and web specialist

De-clutter your website

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

Doges and lolcats

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!

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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