Language

Imagine you're round at someone's house. They look up at the corner of the room and announce: 'We provide a range of teas, including ordinary black tea, green tea and peppermint tea. Anyone who would like a cup of tea should let me know.' Were they...

A leading international corporation knows it will face increasing competition in future. It wants to find ways to make its workforce more loyal, and begins work on an internal initiative which offers a series of promises to its team. Here's how the initiative is explained...

Let's look at a real worked example of editing and cutting back a piece of corporate hot air. This is exactly the kind of work I'm often asked to do – taking some writing that's been written internally and reworking it into something that communicates...

This is President Trump's official inauguration portrait, on sale at the United States Library of Congress. Isn't it magnificent? And it has a beautiful little typo in it – particularly beautiful because it's surrounded by high flown, grandiose language. In its own subversive little way, this typo is...

Here's a quote about the power of language to end the year on. You and I belong to a species with a remarkable ability: we can shape events in each other’s brains with exquisite precision.   It's by Steven Pinker, linguist, cognitive scientist, and marvellously clear communicator of the...

Most of the stuff I write is written to be read. I doubt it's often spoken out loud. True, there may be a few readers who have never dropped the habit of reading out loud from when they were learning to read. But I kind of doubt it....

One of the hardest things for a writer is getting some distance from what you've written. When you've just composed something, it's impossible to read it as someone reading it for the first time would do. As a result you can miss things that can be confusing to...