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Copy Editing Copywriting Long Reads Proofreading Spelling and Grammar

Our changing language: are editors doomèd?

An article by David Shariatmadari in the Guardian has inspired a bit of a buzz these past few days. It’s about the mutability of language, and how the quest for perfect English is a forlorn one. Read “Why it’s time to stop worrying about the decline of the English language” here (it’ll only take about […]

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Copy Editing Copywriting Proofreading Spelling and Grammar

Using “a” or “an” before an abbreviation

Should we say “an NHS doctor” or “a NHS doctor”? There are two schools of thought on this subject: “vocalisation of the abbreviation” and “vocalisation of the first word”. Abbreviation verbalised By this rule, if the abbreviation starts with a letter that starts with a vowel when vocalised, the article used is “an”; if it […]

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Copywriting Digital Marketing

I love reading copywriting blogs

I love reading copywriting blogs. I even said it in the title. Especially the ones that use short sentences. One sentence to a paragraph. One word to a sentence. (No. I wouldn’t read that.) Because copywriting is about paring down, not padding out. Everybody knows that. Time is precious. But sometimes I wonder What isn’t […]

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Copy Editing Copywriting Digital Marketing Long Reads

Which ranking factors are affected by copywriting?

Because everybody wants their website to rank highly on Google, the SEO industry is now as important to companies as traditional marketing and PR always were. The boundaries are so blurred that most companies in one of these sectors usually seek to have expertise in the other two. To rank highly is to appear on […]

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Copy Editing Copywriting Spelling and Grammar

Companies, teams and organisations: singular or plural?

A subject that never goes away is whether organisations should be treated as singulars or plurals. That is, whether we should say: Tesco is the UK’s largest retail company or Tesco are the UK’s largest retail company In this example, it seems pretty straightforward. The first reads more naturally and makes more sense. There’s no […]

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Copy Editing Copywriting Off-topic Punctuation

Jacob Rees-Mogg’s infamous style guide

Well, who’d have thought it? One of the first controversies of the Johnson era hasn’t come from some unfortunate gaffe, but from an issue very close to writers’ and editors’ hearts: style guides. To bring you up to speed, ITV News has revealed that the new Leader of the House, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, has instructed […]

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Copy Editing Copywriting Digital Marketing

Who needs About Us pages when there’s Wikipedia?

I often need to find out basic information about companies when I’m researching copywriting jobs – when they were formed, what they do, how they differ from competitors; that sort of thing. Obviously the first place I look is usually the “About us” page. I’d estimate that that proves useful about 20% of the time. […]

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Off-topic WordPress

Stop WPForms emails being sent to your Gmail spam folder

If you’re having all your emails from WPForms sent to your spam box in Gmail, here’s a quick fix. The process will be similar for all forms plugins, but this post relates specifically to my favourite, WPForms. 1. In your WordPress Dashboard, hover over WPForms and select All Forms 2. Select “Edit” on the form […]

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Copy Editing Long Reads Proofreading Punctuation Spelling and Grammar Typography

Hyphens, en dashes and em dashes: how to use them

They might all look vaguely similar, but hyphens and dashes serve very different purposes. Here’s a quick rundown of their differences and how to use them. Hyphen ‐ The hyphen is shorter than both dashes (although in some typefaces, it can look identical). It has two purposes in writing and typography: joining words and splitting […]

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Copy Editing Copywriting Long Reads Proofreading Spelling and Grammar

Readability analysis: accept, consider, ignore?

Imagine the scene. A graphic designer submits some branding materials to a client. The client’s marketing guy feeds the image into a scanner and takes a sip of coffee as the computer does his its work. Ten seconds later, the progress bar reaches 100 and a bullet list in red, amber and green fills the […]