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So what exactly did Mary do with all that myrrh?

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.

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Hot or cold? A chilly lesson about chillies

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.

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Frankly-incensed by Christmas spelling mistakes? We have a few helpful turkey tips…

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.

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Paradise Lost? 5 life skills we could do with remembering

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.

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The day I taught Brexit to read a map… or did I?

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).

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How to Write – 5 Different Types of Blog Post

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.

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You just got the sack – 5 English idioms from the world of work

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.

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Writer’s block – if it is real, can we combat it?

All outdoor writers, even copywriters lucky enough to live in Devon, have moments when the words refuse to flow. You know the feeling, you sit staring at your screen, your mind starts to wander and then, bingo, you’re faffing around with one of the million and one other things your technology has to offer and your 1,000 words are as far away as 1,000 miles in a slow Toyota campervan (other campervans are available). The topic of writer’s block must be one of the most commonly discussed issues on the internet. I’m not sure I believe in this procrastination-ridden phenomenon but here are the 5 things I usually do when my writing reduces its usual flow.

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Need spelling and grammar help? 5 common UK spelling mistakes and how to avoid them

Ever confused your discrete with discreet? Not only have I done so, I managed to do it in front of a rather large national audience in The Guardian newspaper. English is such a delightfully perverse language that even the most proficient of wordsmiths make spelling mistakes… and then laugh at other people doing the same. Here are 5 common spelling mistakes in UK English (all homophones), avoid them or risk public ridicule on comments forums.

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