General musings

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What’s your favourite headline ever?

General musings|

We've been doing some work on headline writing in our workshops recently. It reminded me of the story behind one of our favourite ever headlines …

Accessing new jargon

General musings, Writing tips|

What is it with the word 'access' all of a sudden? You can't move these days without people 'accessing' education, 'accessing' information on the web, 'accessing' resources in the library, or 'accessing' lists of annoying words.

Will politicians cut the jargon?

General musings, Writing tips|

With a general election on the horizon, will politicians finally get the message that clarity trumps jargon every time?

They said what?! 7 tips to improve your press release quotes

General musings, Writing tips|

A quote in a press release is a chance to get your company’s representative in the media. You start with a blank slate and can say anything you want. So why do so many companies mess it up?

Pleasing portmanteaus

General musings|

Ever wondered where words originate? For portmanteaus, their history can be traced back to two or more direct parents. Here are some of our favourites...

Tautologies: free gifts to wreck your writing

General musings, Writing tips|

Bravo to the folks at The Times. This Christmas card is now six months old, but it remains a powerful example of good editing...

Job titles and the curse of capitalisation

General musings|

Sometimes it’s the little things that have the biggest reaction. You can make major structural changes to a proposed piece of copy and nobody bats an eyelid. Tone of voice, format, sentence length – it’s all up for discussion. But try removing capital letters from someone’s job title and you’ll soon hear the sounds of [...]

Are they wassailing round your way yet?

General musings|

Yes, it’s that time of year. A tentative tap on your front door, you open it . . . and then stand there slightly embarrassed as a ragtaggle of festive troubadours launches into ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!’ By now, of course, you’re wishing you’d turned the telly up and pretended not [...]

Ever wondered . . . are you a writer?

General musings|

Mmm, good question. But what exactly is a writer? Here at Wordsworks Copywriting, we like to think we know a fair bit about the subject, but to help answer that question we decided to invite some friends round who are quite handy with words. It was the usual crowd, including dear old Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde [...]

Free cash! And maybe a flying pig?

General musings|

You have just landed on earth from another galaxy. (Come on, role play.) Your ship’s pre-programmed navigation coordinates meant you should have touched down in Washington, the capital of the planet. But instead you are standing on a high street somewhere in England. In front of you is a primitive digital device set into a [...]

Can I…get on your nerves?

General musings|

You’ve been there haven’t you? Standing at the counter waiting to be served in Costa. And the young man in front of  you says to the barista, “Can I get a skinny latte?” Now, you can tell from his accent that he is not American. So why this peculiar  circumlocution – “Can I get a [...]

Three writing ‘rules’ you’ll love ignoring

Business writing, General musings, Writing tips|

Always told at school never to split your infinitives? Or never to begin a sentence with and, but or because? It’s time to liberate your writing from the stuffy rules of days gone by.