Articles

Strictly Strine: honouring Australia's unique expressions
28 February 2020

Strictly Strine: honouring Australia's unique expressions

We Australians are renowned for being laid back or casual. We're also very attached to the concept of a fair go. Although American culture and language is becoming ever more dominant in Australia, every now and then you do still hear these beauties (or ‘bewdies’ as we would say in the land down under). 

Why underlining could make you look like a dinosaur
21 February 2020

Why underlining could make you look like a dinosaur

Underlining is still sometimes used in headings or to emphasise words in workplace communications. Doing so could make you, or your organisation, look like a dinosaur. Find out why.

It's about them not you: getting better results from written communications
14 February 2020

It's about them not you: getting better results from written communications

When we have a lot to say about a subject, we may find it relatively straightforward to write down our thoughts. We know what's important to us and we know what we want to tell our reader. The danger is, we may end up with a lot of words on the page that fail to communicate anything to our reader or bring about meaningful change. A subtle shift in the way you write can change this perspective and give you a competitive edge.

How to get the most out of your writing consultant
7 February 2020

How to get the most out of your writing consultant

If you’re pushed for time or you want to give your report or flyer a professional polish, contracting a professional writer or editor is a wise investment. Qualifications, experience and expertise fluctuates wildly between writers and editors, so it’s important to take the time to get the right match. Find out how to avoid some of the pitfalls of hiring a professional writer or editor.

Worse, worser, worst and other blunders
31 January 2020

Worse, worser, worst and other blunders

English grammar is not renowned for being logical. No sooner do we think we understand a grammatical rule and we find an exception. If we write ‘quick, quicker, quickest’ to show the comparative speeds between competitors, why don’t we write ‘worse, worser, worst’, or ‘bad, badder, baddest’ for that matter?

Australian words that defined a decade
24 January 2020

Australian words that defined a decade

Around 1,000 words are added to the English language every year. Each December, the Australian public votes on their favourite word. Find out Macquarie Dictionary's winning People's Choice words for the last decade.

Loaded meanings: the challenge of choosing the right word
17 January 2020

Loaded meanings: the challenge of choosing the right word

In times of crisis, or when trying to convey a sensitive message, it can be difficult to find the right words. Dictionaries help us by providing definitions, but these definitions don’t always convey the emotions or deeper meaning behind a word. Can we be sure our readers will infer the meaning we intended?

A few words speak a thousand truths
10 January 2020

A few words speak a thousand truths

It’s tempting to fill a page with a lot of words. We want our work to look impressive and prove that we have indeed laboured hard. We may even hope all these words will make us look smarter, more knowledgeable. Yet it’s the few powerful phrases that become etched in our memories, not the long-winded diatribes. So when renowned actor Cate Blanchett said recently ‘When one country faces a climate disaster, we all face a climate disaster’ she encapsulated in a few words a thousand truths. 

Plain English and the power of 'you'
6 January 2020

Plain English and the power of 'you'

Despite the global trend towards plain English workplace communications, there is a common misconception that plain English is a process of ‘dumbing down’ that is violating the English language. Word choice is a critical component of plain English. But it’s not simply a case of replacing of long word with a short one – it’s so much more than that.

What Wikipedia doesn’t tell you about plain English
20 December 2019

What Wikipedia doesn’t tell you about plain English

Plain English is not a new concept in the workplace. The NRMA recognised its value over 30 years ago when they produced plain English policies to help their customers make informed choices. Yet,  the uptake of clear, concise writing has been slow in some industries putting organisations at risk. Why is the quest for clear written communication so challenging and how can a plain English writer help?