August 27th, 2014
I said “ass” on Google+ recently In a recent Google+ post, I asked this question: “Is it OK to charge my nexus 7 (2013) on my galaxy s4 charger? I think the packaging says only use the nexus charger, but I don’t know if they’re just covering their ass…” And one of my friends replied […]Read more...
September 27th, 2013
Contractions. Too few people use ’em. I think that’s partly because they’re scared of getting it wrong (e.g. using “it’s” when they should have used “its”). And partly, it’s because they think contractions are always inappropriate (i.e. it’s not ‘proper’ writing). There are plenty of guides out there (like this and this) showing you how to […]Read more...
September 19th, 2013
Now don’t switch off when you read the next paragraph. I know it doesn’t sound exciting, but it’s necessary background… Back in 2011, Alex Petrovic from my favourite SEO company, Dejan SEO wrote a guest post for me on the role of copywriting in online reputation management. It was a thought-provoking article, but, even still, […]Read more...
September 5th, 2013
I’m as pro-clarity as the next écrivain. But I think the current attack on verbs takes things a little too far. Some verbs under attack In this article, for instance, Laura Hale Brockway says we should replace all the verbs in the left column with those on the right: I like Laura’s style, and agree with […]Read more...
October 20th, 2010
I’ve blogged a few times (and ranted many more) about the need for more readable writing, despite certain rules. Shame I didn’t put it quite this eloquently… What are your pet pedant peeves? What grammar Nazi laws annoy you the most? Please comment. Mine’s the one that forbids me to start a sentence with a […]Read more...
February 3rd, 2009
“What’s more”, “Nevertheless”, “Of course”, “Needless to say”… Why do some reviewers think these devices are too informal for sentence-starters? Oh, and let’s not forget “Importantly”, “Just as importantly”, “Additionally” and “Furthermore”! I wouldn’t say it happens all the time, but enough to make me wonder. After pointing to something in my copywriting portfolio and […]Read more...
January 29th, 2009
I is a copywriter. So my blog posts are all free of grammatical errors and semantic ambiguities, right? Nup. I write much as I speak. So my style is conversational and my posts share some of the errors of speech. And that’s ok. For two reasons: My style is CLEARLY conversational. Readers see the signals […]Read more...
October 14th, 2008
!Short post warning! If there’s one piece of advice I’d offer to copywriters (other than embrace SEO), it’d be, “Use more contractions!” I’ve lost count of the number of freelancers who’ve sent me samples chock-full of things like “we will” and “you are” and “we are”. Even fairly conservative audiences like to read the way […]Read more...