Word Talk


  1. Tips for managing the media
    08 Aug, 2018
    Tips for managing the media
    In some ways, the label ‘media management’ is an oxymoron. Realistically, it is impossible to manage what a journalist is going to write about your organisation or company. Recently, Coles supermarkets experienced the truth of how difficult it can be to control their own message in the media when it introduced its new plastic toys, which were given to customers spending over $30, just after it had introduced its no-plastic bag policy. While Coles might have liked to attract favourable coverage
  2. The evolution of one particular 'rude' word
    28 Feb, 2018
    The evolution of one particular 'rude' word
    There was a time when ‘bloody’ and ‘bum’ were too rude for conversation, whether polite or less-so. But more recently, I have realised that another word has joined their ranks: fart. This hit home when I was, of all places, in the children’s section of the bookstore. Emblazoned on several covers was ‘fart’, on Nobody Likes a Fart, Old MacDonald Heard a Fart and Girls Don’t Fart. At risk of sounding more at home watching Betty White in The Golden Girls than Lena Dunham in Girls, I was surprised
  3. Little words make a big impression when it comes to names
    07 Feb, 2018
    Little words make a big impression when it comes to names
    Would we still view Melbourne in the same way if it had been named Batmania? That is the question put forward by Jenny Brown in The Age on 4 February. Batmania was suggested by the city's co-founder, John Batman, in 1835. But would the name have enhanced the reputation of the city, reflecting as it did that of a superhero? Or would it detract from its credibility as a centre for art and culture? Similarly, would Carlton have maintained its role as an important culinary and educational
  4. Does writing come naturally?
    29 Mar, 2016
    Does writing come naturally?
    It is a question that can be asked of all skills - does it come naturally or do you have to work to master it? Often, the answer is often the same. Most top sportspeople, artists and writers will say that their success is a result of a combination of talent and hard work. I am often asked by clients how they can improve their own writing skills or the writing skills of their staff. Unfortunately, I don't have a quick fix that will teach people about grammar and vocabulary. Sure, a quick spell
  5. How important can one little word be?
    08 Mar, 2016
    How important can one little word be?
    Last night on the ABC's Q&A program, the value of a particular 'f' word came under scrutiny. That word was feminist, after Minister for Women Michaelia Cash refused to call herself a feminist. Cash declared she did not wish to be labelled, saying that while she held feminist values, she did not want to be pigeonholed as such, but media entrepreneur Mia Freeman said the use of the word was all-important. The discussion of how important a particular word can be is an interesting one. While
  6. My word - how important is wording in branding?
    03 Mar, 2016
    My word - how important is wording in branding?
    The particular working environment at Google offices around the world is stuff of admiration and envy. Apparently, there are pool tables, cafes, massage rooms and nap pods. As a result it is considered an attractive place to work, and so the best in the field want to work for the company. But it is also a clever part of the technological giant's branding. In considering workers' well being, it presents itself as a progressive company, fostering creativity in its employees. In the same way,
  7. Don't stop at decluttering your house - declutter your communications too!
    10 Feb, 2016
    Don't stop at decluttering your house - declutter your communications too!
    These days, everyone is decluttering their houses. Apparently, an uncluttered house helps those who live there enjoy a more relaxed and mindful life. This decluttering can also be beneficial in the workplace. Clear, concise language makes if far easier for us to get our message across. While sometimes we might be tempted to repeat ourselves to emphasise points and use convoluted language, this can be off-putting for the reader, and a waste of time for the writer. So, let's take the
  8. Employers struggling with workers' poor literacy levels
    03 Feb, 2016
    Employers struggling with workers' poor literacy levels
    In today’s digital age, it seems that we could get by without much more than a basic level of literacy. After all, we have spell check at our fingertips, and if there is any doubt about a word’s meaning, we can simply Google it. However, a new study has revealed that low levels of literacy and numeracy is a big concern for many employers. The Australian Industry Group’s "Tackling Foundation Skills in the Workforce" report, released in January, revealed 93 per cent of surveyed employers
  9. Welcome to Word Talk
    27 Jan, 2016
    Welcome to Word Talk
    Welcome to The Word Store blog, Word Talk. In this blog, I will be throwing around some ideas and issues relating to professional communications. For many businesses, this is an area that is not part of core business. However, it is ALWAYS important for your reputation. Every time someone reads text or copy that has been written for or about your business or organisation, they are making judgements about you. Few things can be as damning as grammatical or spelling mistakes, no matter how