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Does A-Level English teach you how to write?

I saw a good article recently about the tendency of primary school teachers to insist their pupils use flowery language and long words rather than straightforward ones. However, having just seen my son go through A-Level English Language, I can report that it’s happening at the other end of the school journey. Too often my... Read more

Is the thesaurus your friend?

The thesaurus gets a bad rap. School teachers forbid it and Stephen King is a famous opponent. In his first novel Everything Is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer wrote the bad English of Ukrainian character Alex by using a thesaurus to change small, ordinary words into big, ill-fitting ones. The compounded effect is horrifying and hilarious.... Read more

Says nothing. Says it all…

Paste the sentence below into Google and you’ll find the exact text on tens of thousands of US accountancy firms’ websites. We take pride in giving you the assurance that the personal assistance you receive comes from years of advanced training, technical experience and financial acumen. Read more

How jargon really doesn’t help

As copywriters, we already have first-hand experience of how certain sectors’ obsession with ‘process’ and using impenetrable, jargon-heavy language is strangling the common sense out of, well, just about everything. So how pleased we were, when this brilliant but worrying article appeared on the BBC News website. Read more

Successful businesses use universal language

If marketing copy is easy to read, for everyone, then surely the messages are getting across. And that’s the point, right? So it’s baffling to see businesses and organisations, large and small, across all sectors, encrypting their communications with words like ‘holistic’, ‘deliverables’, ‘driving’, ‘actioning’, and ‘engagement’. We’ve long known there’s no conceivable justification for... Read more