Clarity

Don’t let business copy get like an old mattress

A mattress, just hanging around. Slumped on the wall. ‘Once people loved to flop onto me… now they just give me the swerve,’ it thinks. Pages packed with wordy out-of-date copy can have the same effect on your website. You keep walking round the mattress, wondering if you should call the council. It gets more …

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Punctuation step 2: let’s consider colons

  Ready for the coding that joins thoughts and ideas? Used sparingly, these symbols can help you engage the emotions of your potential customers A colon is code for ‘here’s what I mean’. You can use them to introduce a list, or at the beginning of reported speech. She said: ‘I’m getting thirsty.’ A semi-colon …

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Punctuation step 1: discover the code you already know

Three steps to basic punctuation – the vital code you use already. Step 1: full stop, comma, exclamation mark. A 2-minute tutorial. Are you with me? From the Very Hungry Caterpillar, through Harry Potter, to every thriller or guide book you’ve ever read, the code of punctuation has made you pause, consider, expect, question, stop and …

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Punctuation step 3: why the apostrophe is your friend

  Discover why the hard-working apostrophe deserves some TLC  Apostrophes are maligned and misused despite multi-tasking for us. We can’t make them study mindfulness, so a bit of effort is needed to master this code. Why bother?  ‘Everyone gets apostrophes wrong,’ I hear you cry. Well, many people still expect you get them right – …

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How to avoid ‘unpresidented’ typos

Donald Trump will be 45th President of the USA very soon. Whatever happens to the world as a result, it’s been stunned by his use of words on the way. Whether he’s inventing words, such as tweeting ‘unpresidented’ instead of ‘unprecedented’, or mangling their use bigly, he has demonstrated their ‘very ugly’ power in the …

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Mystery of the darts player’s apostrophe

When it comes to apostrophes, this sign has ‘one foot in the frying pan and one on thin ice’, to quote the late, great darts commentator Sid Waddell This pub sign is off target grammatically in its bid to find new players. To hit bullseye, it just needs an s, not an apostrophe. One player required Two …

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