Writing Topics: language

The language of procurement

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What is it with procurement? It’s an art, or a science, that aims to keep costs down and profit margins healthy. It smoothes relationships between buyers and suppliers which, in turn, keep the show on the road – whether you’re building bridges, packaging food or running the country. Buying the best at keen prices, keeping […]

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“Two countries divided by a common language”

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One of the things we’re sometimes asked about is American versus British English and whether the former is slowly replacing the latter. Certainly it’s true to say that with the advent of the internet, much of the information we see online is in American English, but British English isn’t dead yet. We still hold on […]

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Don’t shun the dictionary!

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You might think this one is obvious, but you’d be surprised how reluctant some people are to use a dictionary. Don’t expect your spellchecker to tell you the difference between “effect” and “affect” and where and when you should use one or the other. You should never assume you know what an unfamiliar word means, […]

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Jargon – still the scourge of modern business writing

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One of the great plagues of the world of business writing is jargon. I’m sure that most of you will inwardly cringe when reading about people trying to “actualise their goals”. One can, at a push, “realise” a goal, but they’re much better when they are “scored” instead. Jargon is a clumsy form of half-metaphor […]

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Splitting headaches

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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch’s blog, goodcopybadcopy] To boldly go where no man has gone before. You don’t have to be a Trekkie to recognise a great piece of branding when you see it. Coined in the 60s, to this day that ‘to boldly go’ strapline conjures up images of pointy-eared protagonists, low-budget […]

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