language

Ee bye gum, y’am bonny!

'Ow b'ist harriet? The other day, I stumbled across the word "isogloss" while reading Skyfaring (fascinating book) and disappeared into a wormhole of language and dialect. I'd never heard the word before, but it's a line on a map marking a distinct linguistic boundary. In the same way as isobars mark lines of pressure, an [...]

Dignified lighting at the House of Commons

Vintage ads. I love 'em. Here's one for B.E.L.L. Decorative Lamps from 1953, from the Daily Mail (yes, I know) commemorative Coronation supplement. Dignified lighting at the House of Commons B.E.L.L. Decorative Lamps are a fitting choice for the beautiful chandeliers in the St. Stephen’s Crypt of the House of Commons, their soft light maintaining [...]

Let's start with something so simple you'll wonder how much difference it can really make. It just takes a small shift in perspective but it will transform your business. It will mean people not only read, but act on your marketing.  Are you ready? Here it is... You are not your customer. Your marketing is [...]

Save your fimble-famble for somebody else!

On my daily Brain List – not the same as my Do List – is always Be More Interesting.  Not more interesting than the next person, you understand; everyone has the capacity to be fascinating. But more interesting than I was yesterday. And one of the ways I work on that is to read more. [...]

There are so many things I love about this email. Let me count the ways for you.  First, though, I want to point something out: they’ve used images in their email. Normally, that’s a big no-no for me because what you tend to see is a bunch of boxes and some random text because your [...]

The writing formula completed

Do you ever have to write product descriptions? For yourself or anyone else? Or, perhaps a better question would be: do you ever read them?  They're really, really tough, right? Often, they end up sounding like bland, generic, sterile descriptions and they're wanged up there just to fill space. Sometimes just copied and pasted from [...]

Are you being heard, or just making noise?

If you have something important to say, isn't the most important thing of all that your message gets heard? And not just heard, but understood?  I'd say so. Which means you need to consider whom you're talking to. So many organisations struggle with this, because they're mired down by this incorrect idea that to do [...]

If Carlsberg did job applications…

The other day I stumbled across what is possibly the best job application in the history of the modern world.  There are a ton of marketing and business lessons to take from this, because in the end a job application is nothing more than a marketing exercise, and your cover letter is a sales letter. [...]

We can’t fight hate with hate

Sometimes something happens that just stops you in your tracks.  The 16th June was one of those things. I didn't know very much about Jo Cox until the afternoon of the 16th, but it seems she was someone who simply wanted to make the world a better place. I haven't seen or heard a bad [...]

Would you say that to someone you loved?

"I'm an idiot." "I'm stupid." "I'm so lazy – I'm not getting enough done!"  "I'm boring." "I'm fat." "I'm ugly." "I'm weak." "I'm not good enough." We say awful things to ourselves, all the time. Things we'd never say to someone we loved. So why do we do it? Why do we treat ourselves so [...]