I have friend who strongly objects to the words ‘juxtaposition’ and ‘moist’. Her objection to the latter is so strong that she has been known to tell people off for using it, but she is not alone, my research suggests that, as a nation, we prefer our vocabulary desiccated rather than clammy. We all have them, the words that irritate, grating on our nerves whenever we hear, read or (God forbid) say them. As a copywriter I have to be prepared to write about anything (well nearly anything) and use vocabulary that will be appreciated by my target audience. This has led me to some conflict and the occasional trip to the confessional (in the form of my husband) to admit my guilt. Here are my three most disliked word-rant words.
My name is Fi and I talk to myself.
Well, to be honest, I talk mostly to inanimate objects and reserve self-talk for those occasions when I need a good telling off (obviously I am the only person allowed to criticise me). Recent conversations have included a remonstration with the sea when it surreptitiously lapped a wave onto the prom and over the tops of my trainers, words of gratitude to the trees that had been holding up my hammock for the night and a discussion with a crow that was trying to eat chewing gum.
Copywriting in Devon perhaps allows for more outdoor time than most jobs. Ever optimistic, I spent an hour or so this morning searching for signs of spring. I spotted a few (they come early to Devon) but am predicting a wintery blast or two before the spring warm up (last year we had snow on the beaches in February). As January is officially the middle of winter, I thought we might have a bit of fun today with a few useful (and not so useful) winter words. Do let me know if you have a favourite of your own.
Myrrh is almost as difficult to spell as (brocolli), (broccolli), broccoli and is nowhere as nutritious or convertible into breast milk as that green vegetable. I have often wondered what Mary did with the gifts that those Wise Men brought her baby son.
Homophones are words that sound like each other but have different spellings and different meanings. One common issue is the dreaded, ‘their, there and they’re’ but this year I have been bugged by a more unusual example. I have been writing about the fun I have had growing, cooking and preserving my own chillies and have found myself becoming confused in my writing between the country, the sea temperature and the small, fiery fruit. Here is my quick guide to chilli homophones to help you avoid swimming in an overheated sea and eating tasteless Mexican dishes.
For many of us, Christmas is one of the few times in the year when we pick up a pen and remember that handwriting exists. This is great and no doubt good for us but, after a year in the company of spellcheckers and predictive text, it can be hard work grappling with Christmas wordage. We have a few Christmas spelling and grammar tips for you so that your stables remain steady, your mangers don’t go mangey and your holly and ivy behave.
2018, my third year of full-time freelance content writing work, has brought about an unexpected, but much appreciated side effect. I have started to remember some of the old skills. I’m not talking here about ancient skills or even specialist ones, the skills to which I am referring are ones I remember from my childhood. Simple things like shopping in the high street and picking apples, or more complicated ones like preserving (easier than you think). It’s hard to fathom how change can have happened so quickly but it has and this particular brand of change has not been good for us, our environment or our planet. Here is my list of lost skills that we perhaps could all do with holding onto a bit more tightly.
My name’s Fi Darby and, when I am not busy freelance writing, I teach people to read maps. I don’t often get lost but have recently found myself wishing the irritating news elf Brexit would take himself off up into the hills and do just that. I have, however, so far resisted suggesting this as a possible solution to our current troubles because the hills are just about the only place left where it’s possible to hide from the latest ‘B’ news. It was an interesting thought however, to consider what would happen if, when out walking, I discovered Brexit, lost and confused at a summit (I have a feeling I wouldn’t be the first person to whom this has happened).
How many times have you waited for blog post inspiration to arrive, only to find that the blankness of your mind is reflected on the page in front of you? Writers’ block is as common in bloggers as it is in all authors but help is at hand. We have 5 different types of blog post that will keep your blogging head thinking and your blog writing flowing.
There’s no doubt about it, the correct use of English idioms can be tricky to grasp. We have all experienced it, the unsolicited email that tries hard but exhibits a touch of over-ambition in the phrase department. One thing that can help copywriters to correctly use idioms is to understand their etymology (origin). A particularly interesting set are those related to the world of work. Here are our 5 favourites.