Blog Archives

British English is dying

First posted November 2012 I’m in physical pain writing this, but its time that I came to terms with the fact that British English is a dying language. I’ve clung desperately to -our, -ise and -re endings for three decades,

Posted in Random thoughts, UK vs US, Words and language

3 reasons why you need to be ready for questions

First posted November 2011 We’ve all been there. Stuck in a room, listening to a presentation that has been hijacked by someone with an axe to grind. Instead of being informative or inspirational, the talk has turned into an irritating

Posted in Spoken communication Tagged with:

Advice for presenters: ignore all other advice

At least once a day some words of wisdom (often nicely packaged in a list) turn up in my social media streams on how to be a better presenter. My advice: ignore all other advice. This post is going to

Posted in Better content, Spoken communication, Things to avoid, Workplace communication Tagged with: ,

5 words I don’t want to hear in 2012

Originally posted December 2011 It’s the season for Words of the Year, but as regular readers know I tend to go against the trend, just because I can. So, I’m not going to extol the virtues of any particular word

Posted in Better content, Content strategy, Words and language Tagged with:

Letters vs numbers. What comes after j?

Originally posted December 2011 Spot quiz What number comes after 7? What number comes before 254,67? What letter comes after j? What letter comes before q? I’m a corporate communicator. I earn my living working with words; words made up

Posted in Random thoughts, Words and language

7 ways to break the content mould

Originally posted December 2011 If you were lured in by the headline I’m sorry but there isn’t a seven-part list anywhere in this post; that would hardly be a convincing argument for abandoning tried and tested formats. Writing to a

Posted in Better content, Content strategy

Voice calls shouldn’t be scary

Originally published October 2011 What’s so scary about picking up the phone and actually ringing someone? Not sending an SMS or email, tweeting or updating the world via Facebook. I’m talking good old-fashioned voice communication. It wasn’t that long ago

Posted in Clear communication, Spoken communication, Workplace communication

A few letters make all the difference: prefixes and suffixes

English is a funny language. You can take a simple word and add a few letters at the start or finish and completely change the meaning, or if you want, build an idea that defies dictionaries but not the mechanics

Posted in Words and language Tagged with:

You can’t negate a noun

Originally posted October 2011 I will maintain until I die, or someone proves me wrong, that the expression ”I have no bananas” is just grammatical nonsense. I’m not picking bananas in particular, but any phrase that includes ”have no” in

Posted in Random thoughts, Words and language Tagged with:

I worry about a future without words

Eventually, one day, if evolution and sci-fi movies are anything to go by, we will be communicating telepathically. So there is a scenario where grandparents will be saying, sorry, I mean thinking, “You kids have it easy. In my day

Posted in Random thoughts, Words and language

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