Kate Waddon Copywriting

We all need words. Let me help you find the right ones.

Smuggling budgies: the OED’s latest update

I’ve been writing pretty serious content-themed blog posts recently; however as the OED has released its latest update, I thought I’d revert to blethering about wordy stuff.

The Oxford English Dictionary is updated four times a year, and we’ve just had the June revision.  This update includes over 1,000 new words and meanings, and a revision of over 2,000 existing entries. For the full list, have a look at the OED’s website. If you’re a bit short of time (more about short reading attention spans later), here are a few of the new entries that caught my eye…




Well, this is a Thing, and now we all know what to call it. CamelCase is a way of writing compound words or phrases so each word begins with a capital, with no spaces or hyphens.

Obvious examples include PowerPoint, LinkedIn, and YouTube. CamelCase makes otherwise indecipherable hashtags easier to read #LikeThisOne, as opposed to #likethisone. Your online usernames is another example of when you may use CamelCase (KateWaddon). If you have a Scottish or Irish Mac or Mc name, you may be using CamelCase all the time.

Why camels? The term was first used – on paper – by computer programmer Newton Love in 1995, because of the “humpiness” of the style. I love that.



I like a listicle, as my two blog readers know. Basically a plumped-up list, it’s a great way of producing an easily-digestible article. The word itself is possibly my least-favourite blended word (it just doesn’t work) and dates from 2007.



Glamping, a portmanteau word made from “glamorous camping”, first appeared around 2005, and is now used regularly to describe a camping holiday where you’re more likely to get a hot tub than a cold shower. I wrote for a glamping website last year, and honestly, most of us have fewer facilities in our homes. The term these days is largely positive – holidays are sold as “glamping experiences”; but it’ll be interesting to see if it becomes used pejoratively as the next holiday fashion takes over.

There’s always been a camping hierarchy. When I was a kid, my best friend’s dad called our campervan holidays “Wendy camping”. He did the proper stuff, in a small tent, in fields. Shame that phrase hasn’t made it: I enjoyed being a Wendy Camper.



One of the reasons that I love the OED’s updates is that I learn stuff. I thought this new addition was simply the make of my kids’ school ukuleles. It’s not – it’s a rather lovely Hawaiian word for “thanks”. Not, as I suspected “strange sound made by children”. Not one I’ve come across in daily conversation, as you can tell; but then, I’m not a chilled-out, surfy, hanging-out young thing. Sadly.


Budgie smugglers

The OED always has to release one term that gets us all sniggering, and Australian “budgie smugglers” is the one this time round. Picture tight-fitting trunks and the expression, er, falls into place. I’ve refrained from inserting a stock image – the Daily Mail Online was less restrained…

I have a fondness for this term, as I first learned it back in 2005 (although it dates from the mid 1990s), working at the seaside. Much budgie smuggling going on in West Cornwall’s beaches during August.




Ouch. As a writer, I wince at the mention of this one (although I love the semi-colon for nerdy reasons). Tl;dr is shorthand for “Too long; didn’t read” , a crushing editorial comment that dates back to 2002.  It can also mean “too long; don’t read”.  Its new dictionary entry reads: “…a dismissive response to an account, narrative etc considered excessively or unnecessarily long.”

And on that note…


If you want to talk words – or preferably, write some together – please contact me. TTYL. GTG*



*Talk to you later, got to go. Both new entries.

Also, for a discussion of the latest updates from the OED’s Jonathan Dent,read this excellent article.

Is the ellipsis the new exclamation mark? Read on…!


I love an ellipsis. Those three little dots can say so much by saying absolutely nothing (and yes, it should be three, unless you’re writing in a Chinese language and in that case it’s six). It’s mysterious, suggestive, and comes from the Ancient Greek élleipsis (ἔλλειψις) meaning “omission”.  It’s a piece of punctuation that everyone seems to be embracing on social media. But, like the exclamation mark, is it losing its impact by being overused?

We all know to avoid excessive use of exclamation marks. An exclamation mark is like “laughing at your own joke”, according to F. Scott Fitzgerald. Yes, they have their place (“How wonderful” without an exclamation mark is just sarcastic), but scattering them everywhere suggests a lack of confidence in your own tone.  It can be handy to show someone that you’re not being serious; however if you look at Facebook or Twitter, or read back through your emails, the use of an exclamation mark to show that you’re joking has been largely replaced by that winking little emoji. So, we’re cutting down on the exclamation marks –and I for one have certainly found some new punctuation to replace it…

See, I just can’t help it. I automatically stick in an ellipsis to try and create some suspense in a sentence that frankly is not suspenseful. I’m quite restrained with their use in my professional writing, but I trawled through my personal Facebook posts, and my page is so littered with little dots that it looks like it has measles. I need to rein them in.

However, if you want to indicate an unfinished thought, trail off into silence, or leave the reader to form their own conclusion, there is nothing better. It can also be naughtily suggestive. Anyone else remembering the scene in Mama Mia where the girls read Meryl Streep’s old diary and giggle at the “dot dot dots”? (If that’s too shallow, think of Mr Fitzgerald again, and his use of ellipses in The Great Gatsby.)

So when should we use them? To convey a tailed-off thought or add suspense, as already mentioned. They are used in dialogue (see James Joyce), and to condense quotations (I use them when editing client testimonials). In social media, they can be the written equivalent of a raised eyebrow, and we see them used to punctuate an enigmatic post (“Some people are just so rude…”). They can be great for comic effect, and for a pithy “you can guess the rest of the story” caption for a photo. And of course, there’s always that like flurry of excitement when you see those three little dots wiggling, and you know that someone is about to reply to your message… The ellipsis has become a part of modern social communication.

Before writing this, I spent a bit of time on Facebook and Twitter looking out for those little dots, reading posts from people I don’t know as well as my contacts – and people are using them lots. They are embracing them in funny, cheeky and clever ways that definitely add something to what they’re saying. So, the ellipsis is definitely being used – but not, I feel overused.

Next time – the semi-colon, and does it do anything apart from wink…?

Everyday things that are surprisingly tricky to write

Maybe this is just me. There are some things that I really, really struggle to write. Simple, everyday, not-even-work stuff can completely throw me, with the added pressure that because I write for a living, anything I write should be good. So, in a faintly cathartic way, here are the things that really make me chew my pen/growl at my keyboard – and perhaps you can reassure me that I’m not alone…


Writing email subject lines

Ooh, I can tie myself in knots over this one… You’ve composed the perfect email – but it has more than one subject in it, or it’s very general, or it’s just an introduction… What do you call it? A blank space is never an option.

I’m not talking about marketing emails here (that’s a whole other area), so it’s not so much about making sure the recipient actually opens the email as making sure you come across as professional and intelligent. Even if it’s just emailing a friend, we all like to know what an email is about before we open it. Try to be specific, and mention something that immediately identifies you and your project/request/topic.  Imagine how many emails I have headed “Copywriting”.

This is a great article from Business Insider which I shall be using from now on when I get stuck.

Philosophical point. We didn’t used to write on the envelope what the letter was going to be about; however now we always highlight the content of our message before people read it. That’s quite a shift in communication style.


Composing a CV personal statement

I’ve written sales copy for all sorts of things. But selling me? Oh no no no no no – I suddenly become terribly British and go for serious understatement. There’s a huge debate as to whether it should be first or third person. I’d always go for first, otherwise you run the risk of looking like someone else wrote it for you (and frankly, you sound a bit weird). Keep it short, and remember that a CV is about facts and examples.

I refer you to a higher authority – read this from Reed.

Never knowing undersell yourself- but try to avoid sounding like a candidate from The Apprentice. Unless of course, you’re applying for The Apprentice.


 Argh – what to write in the work group card???

It’s hardly a major stressor, but I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t fret even a tiny bit over the communal work card. I’ve worked for organisations large enough to mean that I don’t even recognise the recipient’s name, but have still had to come up with some sincere expression of my regards for them. You don’t even escape this as a freelancer (primary schools seem to generate a lot of group cards).

Is it easier to be the first person, and set the tone, or to wait til it’s been passed round a few times and copy everyone else? The big question is, how much humour to use? I remember the indrawn breaths at college when my mate Tom wrote “You should have kept yer vest on” to our lecturer who was seriously ill with pleurisy (you have to say it in a thick Leeds accent). She found it funny, and of course it was, compared with all our predictable whispered expressions of concern.

Unless you know them very well (and in that case, don’t be so tight and send your own card) just keep it simple. “Happy birthday.” “Congratulations on your new baby!” “Good luck with your new job!” Don’t overdo the kisses if it’s the CEO.

Don’t gush if you don’t want to – but yes, I’ve written “keep in touch” and not meant it. Go for the passive voice and say “you’ll be missed” if you want to preserve your integrity.  Try not to correct your colleagues’ punctuation.


How to complain in writing

This is basically a “Very British Problems” post now… I am awful at composing a good complaint. There is no middle ground. I either send it immediately when I’m still hopping (a short use-by date in my supermarket delivery always gets blown out of proportion in our house), or I end up apologising to them because I can’t really bring myself to complain.  And I always spend far, far too long at this. If time is money, spending half an hour emailing the supermarket about a 60p overripe pepper does not make any sense.

I love CAB – try their thorough guide to complaint letters.


Writing cheques

Ho ho ho. It’s an age-old punchline. However, I do struggle with writing cheques (and yes, I know companies that still use them!). This may be because my handwriting has suffered greatly from years of typing; and cheques, greetings cards, and notes for school are the only things I ever write that are read by other people. My handwriting, once copperplate, is now embarrassingly scrawly. Handy in meetings, because no one can read my notes, but awkward if another human has to decipher it.

I give myself the same advice as I give my four-year-old. Write slowly and concentrate.

Advice which pretty much covers all my daily dilemmas.



Christmas words

I’ve been very busy with Christmas. Not sorting out my own Christmas – dear me, no, it’s still November and I haven’t even got going there – but telling other people how to organise theirs. What presents to buy, what to eat, where to get the food from, where to go, and even how to feel good again in January when it’s all over… I’m Christmas Copy Girl, even if it seems strange giving advice about something I am quite clearly rubbish at myself.

You may also be writing about Christmas. It’s hard not to. Whatever your business, if there’s some way you can segue a festive theme into your blog, you’re probably doing it.

I don’t know about you, but I’m struggling with Christmas adjectives. I am trying to avoid describing everything as “festive”; the linguistic equivalent of just sticking a sprig of holly on top of something and saying “job done”.

However, for such a rich language, we’re a bit short of Christmas-related adjectives – a problem if you’re writing product copy. “Christmassy”, “festive”, er, “Yule-ish”… “Seasonal” pops up a lot, but only at Christmas. Try more associated adjectives rather than direct ones. Generous, lavish, merry, jolly, wintry, happy, magical, cosy. Scatter clichés around like a kids throws wrapping paper – for once, you can probably get away with it.

But – and here’s an absolute number one festive writing rule – don’t spoil the magic. Father Christmas is real. Bottom line. Don’t risk spoiling the magic with any witty asides if you’re writing about anything that might be read by the under tens.

Sorry that was a bit brief. I just wanted to check in before I go back to the Christmas listicles. Or “Christicles”, as I like to call them. Have fun with any festive writing you may be doing. If you have any new festive adjectives for me (SFW only), please wing them over. I think I’m going to need them over the next few days…

Just enjoy language!

I don’t use this blog to make points about politics. I will happily share my beliefs down the pub or on my personal Facebook page, but this is not the place. However…I’ve just read the sample Key Stage 2 English examination paper. It sucks the joy out of language faster than a Dementor could. Its focus on grammatical rules is a depressingly dry way to look at English.

Children seem to naturally enjoy language. I’ve mentioned before how watching them learn new words is a delight. My four-year-old has just worked out that if you sound these letter things together, you can read an actual word! She’s very excited.

I don’t normally write about my kids in this blog either; however this concerns them more than me. My eight-year-old writes stories. To be fair, he has a reasonable grasp of grammar, and his spelling is getting less eccentric every week. I read his stuff. It’s wonderful. Unfettered by any nods to realism, I envy his untrained ability to run with ideas.  “It was a sunny, pancakey sort of day in Cornwall”, he wrote a couple of years ago to describe a happy day, a description so naively perfect it makes me smile every time I think of it. He’s encouraged, both at home and at school, to be creative; to write what he enjoys, and to develop his own idiom. Where is that fine line between “correct” writing and stifling natural ability?

Stepping away from the literary canon always helps. I love listening to people who enjoy language. Stephen Fry, Russell Brand, Charlie Brooker – no, not a particularly harsh round of Snog, Marry, Avoid, but three wordsmiths who clearly have such a joy in playing around with words. Listen to song lyrics. Remember the howl from Middle England when an Amy Winehouse lyric appeared in an exam paper? But it was a beautiful, pared-down lyric that connected with millions. Think Arctic Monkeys, Neil Hannon, Jarvis Cocker for songwriters who revel in words. The frenetic wordplay of some rap shows an ability to play with language that “serious writers” should envy. Do these talents play by the rules of grammar? Unlikely.

I admit I’m conflicted here. I have a real word nerd’s OCD when it comes to things like the grocer’s apostrophe. I ruthlessly proofread menus, posters, food packaging, newsletters, and instruction manuals. But does tying our lovely language down to a series of rules help to improve our collective communication skills? I don’t think so.  I may have a reputation as the Grammar Police among my friends; however in the end, does knowing your adverb from your elbow really matter? Engaging, readable writing that people actually want to read is surely the idea? After all, we’re talking about communication here. Does being able to identify the past progressive make children better writers?

I’d like to draw this to some sort of conclusion, but I don’t think I can. Walk the line. Find a balance. Yes, teach our children the rules of language, but emphasise that that’s not all there is to it. Knowing what a verb is isn’t much good if you can’t come up with some good ones in a story. Just keep enjoying words.

And if you want to test your own grammar, here’s the paper.

And here’s Michael Rosen’s wonderful open letter.


The Apprentice – talking the talk

After learning how to talk like bakers last week, this week – how (not) to talk like an entrepreneur. Welcome back, The Apprentice.

It would be too easy to critique the language of The Apprentice. Business-speak has amused us all for years. Just Google it, and there are so many articles listing choice hyperbolic expressions. Characterised by insane analogies (“It was a case of low-hanging fruit”) and borrowings from more conventionally macho jobs (“We need to look under the bonnet”), it is endlessly entertaining to those who never have to speak it.

I confess to having been fairly fluent in this language. For the first few weeks after leaving the “robust” language of the shop floor and joining the strategic team in the offices, I struggled with this new way of communicating. Then I realised that if you just stuck a “going forwards” on the end of most sentences, you got away with it. It was that simple. I was in their radar. It is the lexical equivalent of putting on a suit, and just as shallow.

So, what I loved about The Apprentice last night was that it’s become very conscious of its own language. Lord Sugar, an admirably jargon-free talker (when will the candidates learn from that??), said to one chap, “I read that you ‘dislike corporate speak’.” He then proceeded to read out a statement from another candidate’s CV. I tried to jot it down, but I can’t write that fast. It was stunning; a real master-class in corporate jargon. Lord Sugar concluded with: “What a load of [insert noun here]”. Lord Sugar also introduced new aide Claude: “He tells it as it is.” Take note, candidates – Lord S is dropping some very strong hints here about communication.

My favourite part, words-wise, is the little introductory clips where the candidates talk about themselves to camera. I am sure there is some researcher screeching “Sound ridiculous! Come on, you don’t sound self-absorbed enough! More bonkers analogies please!”  However they manage to speak with such straight faces that I’m convinced they mean it. My favourite this year is “I am the Swiss-army knife of business skills”. Excellent. Please open this beer for me.

But – and this is what really captured my attention – is the second that they started running around trying to buy, cook, and sell fish (I loved this task), the posturing language all went. They started to talk like real people. Put someone in a pair of work wellies, and any talk of “blue-sky thinking” vanishes faster than squid in a taverna. In fact maybe they went a bit too colloquial – buy the fish because “it’s bloody nice” probably won’t win any sales awards. I quite liked the use of “Power Hour” to describe the last panicky bit where they feverishly flog everything – borrowed from the drinking game, or is that an actual Apprentice-created term?

So, aside from overusing “specification” (much more masculine than “recipe”, don’t you think?), some nice, normal speech. Then – back to the boardroom and it all goes horribly wrong again… In her self-introduction, one candidate stated: “I’m suited, I’m booted – come on!” And that sums it up. On with the suit, out with the business speak. Stick a person who has shown all signs of being a perfectly good communicator next to a jug of corporate water and a large table, and he or she starts talking like David Brent again. The losing team had a “massive complication”. No you didn’t – you made a mistake. You can’t hide errors behind overblown language. You bought the wrong fish.

However, much to my delight, this year they have a self-proclaimed “wordsmith”. I shall be listening to him with great interest, and maybe he can keep the corporate speak in check.  But don’t laugh at these guys too much for their language. Like the jackets, jargon is something you put on to portray an image. As they grow in confidence, they’ll all calm down and start speaking in their usual idioms again. Going forwards.

The Great British Bake Off and the language of cake

I worry about myself sometimes. Even when faced with lavish piles of cake, I still home in on the words. The Great British Bake Off has given our national lexicon far more than a soggy bottom. Here is my take on the scrumptious language of cake.


It’s jolly rude…

The innuendo! Goodness me. The splendid Mel and Sue (with some help from naughty Mary) have brought back the language of the Carry On films, and what could possibly be more British than seaside postcard humour? Of course, “soggy bottom” has already entered the British consciousness, and in this series, we’ve had a jolly romp through plums, buns, nuts, tarts and er, cracks. It’s back to the old “naughty but nice” cream cakes campaign of the early eighties.


We can all sound like experts

I love this about this sort of show. It allows us to pretend we’re experts by giving us the language. I can talk about “even bakes” just like Mary and Paul can, and shake my head knowingly when the dough simply wasn’t given long enough to prove. And to sound like proper bakers, we all casually drop in a reference to “crem pat”.

(See also: talking about non-standard construction with Martin and Lucy; shaking your head with Kevin McCloud; savaging a CV with Claude.)


It’s very definite

 Suddenly, things that don’t usually use one have the definite article. It’s like being French. “The bake wasn’t good”, frowns Paul. The bake. The rise. The prove. It makes them sound rather menacing, as if these things have taken on a life of their own.


There are random new cake words

The Bakes themselves can be splendidly esoteric. I have small kids: I bake cupcakes and not much else. Now – wow! I have a whole new vocab of cakes I’ve never heard of. Mokatines, entremets, and the impressively bonkers tennis cake. I still can’t pronounce millefeuille, but was pleased to hear that no one else can either.


It can be beautiful

 Nadiya’s speech at the end of the 2015 GBBO final had the nation welling up. She may have become famous for her wonderfully communicative face, but her words are equally expressive.

“I’m never gonna put boundaries on myself ever again. I’m never gonna say I can do it. I’m never gonna say ‘maybe’. I’m never gonna say ‘I don’t think I can’. I can and I will.”

As lovely and reassuring as a freshly-baked sponge.

Communicating with old words

Thinking about my anachronistic job title in my last blog naturally led me off on a tangent. What other archaic words do we casually use every day? I could have gone out and researched all sorts of exciting engineering, medical, and manufacturing jobs and looked at their terminology. But of course I didn’t. I stared at my desk until inspiration hit.

“I’ve cced/CCed/cc’d you in.”

We all know what that means (you’re not as important or influential as the name in the top line, basically), but where does the “cc” bit come from? “Carbon copy” comes from carbon paper, an inky mess of a page that is inserted in between two leaves of paper to create an impression of the top sheet on the bottom one. I am saying this in case my blog is read by anyone under forty who doesn’t frequent antiquarian bookshops or market stalls that use manual receipt books, so will never have encountered this. Many say it’s “courtesy copy”, but that’s a backronym (love that word). So, as we type the “you-need-to-know-this-but-don’t-need-to-do-anything” recipient’s name into the cc box, we’re referencing that messy old method of duplicating documents.

Interestingly, that essential of office politics, the bcc function, could also be carried out on a typewriter. You could set the ribbon not to strike the paper, which leaves names off the top copy but leaves an impression… I like to imagine the original Miss Moneypenny doing this.

“I think I dialled the right number…”

No you didn’t. You technically pressed the right number. But we persist with this one, and even grow it as technology advances: speed-dial, direct-dial, er, dial-a-pizza.


To illustrate how old this makes me feel, here is a picture of my four-year-old learning how to dial a phone, properly, using an actual dial. In a museum. Gah. (Thanks to Porthcurno Telegraph Museum for this excellent display, btw. Brilliant museum.)

140-character limit

I am too verbose for Twitter, even when I take out on the ellipses and desperate hashtags. 140 characters often seems a bit ungenerous. Back in the day, Twitter was an SMS-based system, and those clunky early mobiles couldn’t deal with more than 160 characters. They’d do that annoying splitting up the text thing. On the whole, I quite like the fact that tweets are limited (see most Facebook posts).

Nobody wants a stylus

Of course, being terribly topical, I should add stylus. Used by the ancient Minoans and Egyptians and reviled by Steve Jobs, these “poking sticks” as they’re called in our house, hit the news last night when Apple announced that its new iPad Pro would come with a stylus.

That’s definitely a very old word for a very new thing.



For more info about carbon copies, there’s a nice clear explanation at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_copy.



Lorem ispum: placeholder text in copywriting

“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.” And so begins many a working day for me. Anyone who has ever looked at any sort of printed or web template will recognise “lorem ipsum”, the placeholder text that designers use until the real copy is ready.

Copywriters like me spend a lot of time looking at chunks of lorem ipsum. Often, I end up counting it, to give me a better idea of how many words I need to write to fill the space. Beyond the first few words, the rest of the text often varies, depending on what size space needs to be populated. So of course, because I stare at it so much, I started to wonder about it, and because I started to wonder about it, I started to read about it – and for a word nerd like me, that made for a very jolly research session.

I had always assumed it was a made-up sort of Latin, and my own tenuous grasp of the language isn’t good enough to actually translate it. It is actually pretty much a nonsense piece, but it is based on Cicero’s De finibus bonorum et malorum – “On the ends of good and evil”. For more about the language itself, read Alison Flood’s piece in The Guardian, who like me, finds it “weirdly mesmerising”. It’s thought to have been the go-to typesetters’ text since the 1500s. I’m not entirely sure why the first guy to use it chose to use scrambled Roman philosophy to fill the gaps, but hey, it works.

Why do we still use it? Habit or tradition, maybe. But the main reason is that this dummy copy manages to be both readable and unreadable at the same time. Because it looks like “real” writing, the viewer looking at the proofs gets a real sense of what the publication or website will look like when it’s populated with text. And because to most of us (Latin scholars aside) it’s a load of burble, we’re not distracted by the words and focus instead on the design.

There are various lorem ipsum generators online, where you can type in your sentence/paragraph/page length and a stream of gibberish is produced to fit. Naturally this has led to silly versions. Probably the most fun generator is Samuel L Ipsum (warning: NSFW).

As the copywriter, I often come in towards the end of a project when the design has been finalised; and I have to say, I really prefer it when lorem ipsum is used as the placeholder text, as it’s as close to a blank space that you can get, without it actually being blank. Chunks of copy from the previous website or a hundred repetitions of “Content Needed Here” don’t actually work as well  – they just create “noise” which can be hard to ignore.

So that was today’s distraction. I shall now return to populating a website with what I hope is more meaningful text – although arguably, less profound than the (albeit jumbled) philosophy of good and evil.

Breaking news – I don’t proofread Facebook posts

“I even worry about messaging you on Facebook”, said a friend. “I imagine you going through it and checking my grammar.” Eh? When did I become a scary, proofreading fascist? Is this how everybody feels? Will I end up a Billy-no-Facebook-friends? “Well, you have set yourself up as some sort of grammar expert”, said my mum, helpfully.

Yes OK, I can be picky – and as a copywriter, I should be. However, we all need to kick back sometimes, and well, use phrases like “kick back”. Of course, I am merciless if I encounter mistakes in anything formal. Typos or dodgy apostrophes on anything to do with education are definitely worth an indignant howl. I have been known to whisper “The menu is really badly written! Can we find somewhere else to eat?” which is probably taking it too far, but it does suggest a certain lack of professionalism and attention to detail (and always makes me worry that they may also be slack in their food hygiene…). I have told insurance companies, NHS departments and on one really stupid occasion HMRC that their standard letters are awful, which believe me, never, ever helps.

But – in everyday, informal life, does it really matter? If your friend understands your text or email, surely that’s enough? (But, older relatives, please learn how to use the punctuation bits for texting. It’s like reading code sometimes.) Writing is just a way of communicating, like speech – and we all use very different language depending on who we’re talking to. Stick me in a GP’s surgery or a school parents’ evening and I mysteriously start talking like Lady Mary. At work, I probably speak a bit more formally than I would to my friends. The rest of the time, I just talk like me.

Is writing the same?

The style I get asked to write in the most by clients is “friendly yet professional” (rarely the other way round, curiously). There remains a need for accuracy and (sorry) good grammar, but in these less formal days, businesses don’t necessarily want to write the Queen’s English. Blogging for work is always an interesting exercise in style, as it walks the line between appearing professional and general chattiness. It is possible to be both appealingly informal and relaxed and write clearly and correctly.

But unless you’re posting for Grammarly, don’t stress about your Facebook posts. They’re just the writing equivalent of putting on your sweatpants and eating crisps in front of the telly.

“You put “lol” in a text”, said A Relative accusingly. “How could you?”

“Easily. It’s my day off.”