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Towards a transformative hermeneutics of linguistic periphrasticism, or, why do people love jargon?

In authoring this thought-leadership white paper my strategic roadmap was to build a key deliverable for continuous professional development and learnings. Er, what now? I said, I wrote this article to help you...

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Why I hate grammar nazis

Here’s a little tip for getting traction in the Twittersphere. Tweet about grammar. I did it this morning, asking why copywriters feel that “good grammar” matters so much. Roughly eight milliseconds later my Tw...

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Ten copywriting ‘rules’ you should break before you die

Rules, eh? Doncha just hate ’em? Do this. Don’t do that. Show me a rule and I’ll show you a baseball bat. Copywriting is plagued with rules. You know, you buy a book by someone who says they’re going to teach y...

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The 7 telltale signs you’re reading “zombie copy”

She stands, screaming. Her feet refuse to move. She is rooted to the spot with terror. Slowly, inevitably, the bloody, walking corpse approaches. Arms outstretched, snarling, it reaches for her. It is hungry. A...

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Ten people I want to thank for teaching me what matters in writing

1 My Mum For showing me that the best way to get a company to recompense you for poor service isn’t blowing your stack at the till assistant, but by writing a calm, measured and detailed letter to the CEO, item...

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The Copywriter’s Prayer

Oh Word, Let me compose sentences providing both meaning and pleasure. Guide me towards clarity, simplicity and truthfulness, And away from the seductive path of waffle, and the words whereof the weasel availet...

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Maslen on Marketing June 2013: Why double-amputees can make great copywriters

Many laypeople (and not a few copywriters) imagine the job of a copywriter involves sitting at a computer and typing. Well, that’s true as far as it goes. It does involve typing. But in much the same way as the...

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Annals of dimwitted public signs #76,671

There’s a park where I walk Merlin, my Whippet. Here we are posing for our picture on www.mydogandme.me. Sometimes, horses kept by travellers stray onto the park. This eventually got too much for the coun...

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When copywriters start showing off

Anyone who has children – or has spent time with the little bl… I mean angels – will have uttered or heard that deathless phrase, “Stop showing off”. Usually as said offspring is disrupting a family lunch. Litt...

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