Writing Topics: Financial Times

Words that should be banned: Talent

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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch’s blog, goodcopybadcopy] Until I worked for an investment bank, I’d only ever heard the word “talent” used of the likes of David Beckham, Bryn Terfel or hot-looking boys on a night out. But as soon as I arrived in the world of finance, I discovered that everyone was […]

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Letter in the FT: Financial crisis “expected” but not “anticipated”

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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch’s blog, goodcopybadcopy] I’m very excited to have a letter in today’s FT. If you’ve ever been tempted to use the word “anticipate” as a synonym for “expect” (or felt grouchy at people who do) do take a look at it here.

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Words that should be banned: impact

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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch’s blog, goodcopybadcopy] Oh, I’m perfectly happy for you to use the word “impact”. If, that is, you’re writing a paper on ballistics, a police report about a car crash, or a summary of theories of how the dinosaurs were wiped out. But use it to describe anything other […]

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Words that should be banned: decline

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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch’s blog, goodcopybadcopy] Here’s something annoying that I’m spotting more and more often: journalists’ increasing use of the word “decline” when they mean “refuse”.

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Seven pernicious euphemisms of the current financial crisis

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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch’s blog, goodcopybadcopy] Shares – down. House prices – down. Commodities – down. But there’s one market that’s booming: the market for disingenuous financial euphemisms.

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And a “negative increase” is what, exactly?

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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch’s blog, goodcopybadcopy] One of my readers spotted this piece of brain-frying copy, from “Inflation punctures deflation fears”, an article by Krishna Guha in the usually crystal clear FT: “The danger is deflation defined as a sustained negative rate of underlying domestic price increases.” Huh? Any economists out there […]

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If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out

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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch’s blog, goodcopybadcopy] The title of this post is one of George Orwell’s rules of writing in his much-quoted 1946 essay, Politics and the English Language. And it’s a rule that business writers would do well to take more notice of.

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Tautology Tuesday: “Working in partnership together”

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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch’s blog, goodcopybadcopy] In my last post on tautology, I talked about how desperate and untrustworthy the tautological phrase “worldwide, global business” sounds. And no doubt the employees of all “worldwide, global businesses” are also committed to the equally tautological “working in partnership together”.

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How not to quote someone in an article

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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch’s blog, goodcopybadcopy] News and feature articles are an established staple of the comms professional’s repertoire. But you can always spot when they’ve been put together by an inexperienced writer. The biggest give away? Look at the way they handle quotes.

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Don’t follow the crowd

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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch’s blog, goodcopybadcopy] I’m worried that the word ‘after’ will soon be extinct. I don’t know if it’s that writers have suddenly developed a mistrust of the word – or if I’ve just become attuned to their increasing preference for the cumbersome ‘following’.

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