English language

Huru voodoo, or when words go wrong

Translation news, now. This week it’s the story of Canadian brewery Hell’s Basement who came an embarrassing cropper after christening their new pale ale Huruhuru – a Māori word they thought meant ‘feather’. In fact, it means ‘pubic hair’. Awkward. Still, Hell’s Basement wasn’t alone. Also getting caught up in the lost-in-translation net was a Wellington leather outlet who’d gone the whole hog, naming their entire store Huruhuru. Cold comfort, but at least they’d done their due diligence. Although in…

Huru voodoo, or when words go wrong was last modified on August 21st, 2020 by Proof Communications Team
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Beware! Typos can lead you astray. (Or why all roads don’t lead to Rome.)

There’s no doubt that seemingly small typos can have a big effect. This month, for example, brought disturbing news of a Philippines journalist sent to gaol after correction of a typo in an article originally published in 2012 saw her convicted of cyberlibel. But typos don’t always have to appear in print to be damaging. There’s plenty of other ways they can cause havoc, too. Take the relatively recent case of Luigi Rimonti, a spry 81-year-old Italian who for many…

Beware! Typos can lead you astray. (Or why all roads don’t lead to Rome.) was last modified on July 16th, 2020 by Proof Communications Team
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Presentation

Preparing for Presentations

Everyone dreads public speaking. It doesn’t come naturally to most of us – it’s a skill we have to learn. Like many things in life, practice makes perfect and the more we do it, the more assured we become. Overcoming fear Public speaking generates fear – usually that we will: • Fail to educate, persuade or motivate, depending on our goal. • Look and/or sound stupid or boring. • Forget what we want to say or a point we want…

Preparing for Presentations was last modified on July 9th, 2020 by Proof Communications Team
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Dictionary

10 common English language mistakes

(Plus one you may think is an error, but isn’t). One of the wonderful features of the English language is its flexibility. We have a staggering range of words to choose from, whatever we are trying to say. And the ease with which we adopt new words and spread these around the world is a true example of globalisation. But writing in the English language is fraught with opportunities for error and confusion. Avoiding mistakes is not just a pastime…

10 common English language mistakes was last modified on June 30th, 2020 by Proof Communications Team
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What to do with a comma

Those little black squiggles cause endless confusion. To prevent your brain from frying, here’s some help on how to use commas to get your business messages across more clearly. For help with copywriting, proofreading or editing any of your business documents, contact Proof Communications on 02 8036 5532 or 0411 123 216 or head to the contact page.

What to do with a comma was last modified on June 16th, 2020 by Proof Communications Team
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Sentence Starters

Words to start sentences

Business writing can be hard enough but finding ways to make it ‘flow’ can make it seem even harder. How can you make your writing seem more like a conversation and less like a lecture? One easy way is to master the use of ‘sentence starters’ or ‘transition’ words and phrases. Here are some to get you into the swing of it all. (Just make sure to put a comma after the transition word and the subject of the sentence…

Words to start sentences was last modified on June 2nd, 2020 by Proof Communications Team
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Anagram

Friday Funny

Correct spelling is essential, mix up the letters of one word and the whole meaning is altered. For help with copywriting, proofreading or editing any of your business documents, contact Proof Communications on 02 8036 5532 or 0411 123 216 or head to the contact page.

Friday Funny was last modified on May 29th, 2020 by Proof Communications Team
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Learn

Clear business writing: getting the upper hand on upper case

Writers who feel compelled to use Capital Letters for no Apparent Reason make Everything seem Important or Formal, creating confusion for readers. Avoid incensing your audience by following these simple rules. Proper Nouns Proper nouns, which could refer to a place, person, event, or thing, are always capitalised in English. To name but a few, proper nouns include people’s names, names of businesses or organisations, place names, nationalities, cities and rivers, and months of the year. Interestingly, the four seasons…

Clear business writing: getting the upper hand on upper case was last modified on May 26th, 2020 by Proof Communications Team
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Mixed Letter

This week’s Friday Funny

Correct spelling is essential, one letter out of place can change the meaning of any writing dramatically. For help with copywriting, proofreading or editing any of your business documents, contact Proof Communications on 02 8036 5532 or 0411 123 216 or head to the contact page.  

This week’s Friday Funny was last modified on May 18th, 2020 by Proof Communications Team
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Anagrams

Never was a truer word spoken

One of the greatest wordsmiths in living memory, T.S. Eliot once said, ‘My name is only an anagram of toilets’. Typical self-effacing humour from such a brilliant writer, and testament to the power of anagrams to amuse, confuse and be just downright clever – as the following list so wonderfully demonstrates. For help with copywriting, proofreading or editing any of your business documents, contact Proof Communications on 02 8036 5532 or 0411 123 216 or head to the contact page.  

Never was a truer word spoken was last modified on May 13th, 2020 by Proof Communications Team
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