Writers Inc

Why AI can never replace a real human writer

Charley Oakes, Senior Copywriter and Editorial Project Manager

Charley Oakes, Senior Copywriter and Editorial Project Manager

A week or so ago our editorial projects division Writers Inc. tweeted a fascinating article about Reuters’ development of Lynx Insight, a new artificial intelligence (AI) tool capable of pitching story ideas and writing sentences, the aim being to save human journalists time and boost productivity.

Taken at face value, most professional writers, from journalists to copywriters like myself, would probably have sat up at this story and uttered the word: eh? (Optional extras: a shudder of horror or/and projectile tea across the room.) However, it’s important to take a step back and realise that Lynx Insight is not about replacing real reporters, but more about harnessing technology to analyse data and present the most useful results.

Is AI the future of journalism or copywriting? In a word – no. Instead, it’s a very credible research tool to be handled and its results interpreted, with care. By humans.

 

Reuters is a pioneer in using AI and robotics to improve its processes and is proud of its focus on bringing machines and humans together – a vision it calls the ‘cybernetic newsroom’ – to each do what they do best to achieve a common goal. The idea behind Lynx Insight is that its AI software can sift through a massive amount of data to identify news trends and produce concise snippets human editors can then finesse or develop as needed, with clear time-saving benefits. On a practical level, humans simply could not analyse reams of data as speedily.

In the Reuters case, when it comes to the written sentences produced by Lynx Insight, these would always be reviewed by a human prior to publication. Cue a sigh of relief. While there are innate differences between the role of news journalist and the role of copywriter, surely the ability to write effectively still runs through everything we do. How many writers of any sort would genuinely feel comfortable handing this task over entirely to an algorithm?

Human personality is so important to the written word. At Acceleris and Limelight, we hold brainstorms to generate creative ideas – the good ones often end up flowing through the copy we produce. Understanding and capturing a client’s tone of voice can often be as important to brand and reputation as communicating key messages. When the right words aren’t coming, human writers know when to pause for reflection and that a great idea can come from simply taking a walk, getting some fresh air, or a chat with a colleague.

AI may not be able to replace a real human writer, but it has a valuable role to play in so many other fields. For corporate law firm Addleshaw Goddard (AG), one of our professional services clients, AI forms part of its Intelligent Delivery offer, which brings together the best people, processes and technology to optimise legal services for clients. AG uses Kira, a powerful AI system, to quickly interrogate and manage large volumes of information to save significant amounts of time.

On a personal level, I own an Amazon Echo and use it at home daily to stream music, listen to the radio and ask the time when wrestling my toddler into his coat and gloves while ushering the dog out of the way means I’m anything but hands-free. As impressed I am by the concept of driverless cars and open to the idea that they will become part of everyday life in my generation, I wouldn’t let one chauffeur me in my lifetime. Meanwhile, AI has a highly valuable potential role in improving outcomes in healthcare, such as in one study where AI has been used to analyse data to predict how many patients could end up in intensive care, and this must be explored. Amazing.

I, as will most professional writers, will watch the rise of the use of AI in research with great interest and if the opportunity presents itself, give it a go. I can’t speak for other writers, but in terms of letting AI write on my behalf, I’ll do that when I replace my car with one that can drive itself.

At Writers Inc., we can’t offer AI, but we can offer humans. To give our ‘algorithm’ a go, please get in touch.

NaNoWriMo – what’s the world of publishing coming to?

Abbie H

Abbie Hettle, Account Executive at Acceleris

As November draws to a close so does the annual National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo. The challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel over the course of 30 days – not a challenge we would all readily accept! Its popularity begs some reflection on what this says about traditional publishing in the technologically advanced 21st century.

We can all write a blog post. We can all write a 140 280 character tweet. Can we all write a compelling and challenging novel which responds to various literary genres? ‘No’ is the simple answer, but it certainly doesn’t stop the empowerment of the internet from encouraging us to try. What a great example of digital and traditional publishing tools working hand in hand!

There’s no denying that traditional periodical print publishing is massively in decline. Magazines print issues have been ruthlessly axed across the spectrum over the past few months alone. Glamour, for example, announced in October it is focusing on digital publishing at the expense of its monthly glossy magazine, now printing special issues just twice a year. Teen Vogue swiftly followed with the demise of Vogue’s young oriented magazine and the cutting of 80 jobs. All of this signals a sharp shift in young people and their reading alliances.

Meanwhile outside of magazines the novel is seeing something of a resurgence into popular culture. It wasn’t too long ago that the trend for e-readers and e-books seemed to cast the 200+ page bound tome into the trash. Yet the novel seems to be holding steadfast to its print publishing roots. With the re-invention of Waterstones and a growth in book bloggers, #instareads, and monthly book subscription services it seems that, even though publishing seems averse to the onset of digital dominance, there will always be a place for the printed word.

A campaign to renew the relevance of the novel on such a multicultural digital platform such as Twitter instils us editorial folk with new confidence. Weekly magazines and their conveyor belts of predictable and temporarily relevant content don’t hold our attention for too long. We are increasingly turning towards more traditional print like the classic novel as well as digital versions of newspapers, magazines and brochures whose presence both physical and digital seems fixed.

Take a look at our work with The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society. To celebrate its milestone of 150 years we produced a commemorative book detailing the Society’s roots, objectives and achievements across its long history of caring for former seafarers. This project appealed to the Society’s older audience who are invested in their charitable status and its objective of providing top quality care facilities. The hardback book worked for this client whose existence is steeped in history and tradition. We complemented this publication with content that could be utilised in a digital version and on the website. The timeline which ran across the top of each page in the printed book is now a feature on the Society’s brand new website. Tying these two forms together has extended the charity’s appeal and relevance to a great variety of audiences who utilise different media. It has even won a CIPR award for Best Publication

The lesson here is there’s a suitable online or offline print publication for everyone; whether that’s a commemorative book, a graphic novel or brochure. NaNoWriMo’s repeated success is testament to the power of the word and for recent graduates like me and fellow bookworms everywhere, it is proof the book isn’t going anywhere.

Let’s place the printed word back where it belongs. Why not give Acceleris’ Writers Inc department a call to find out how we can help you achieve this? Find us here

Three reasons to hire a copywriter

Katie Wadsworth - Copywriter / Account Executive, Acceleris

Katie Wadsworth – Copywriter / Account Executive

We all know how important first impressions are.

Experts believe that it only takes seven seconds for us to form an opinion when we meet someone new and the same thing can be said about customers making split decisions when they first see your brand.

The language you use on your website and in marketing collateral is important as it sets the tone for how you and your brand are perceived and shared by staff, potential customers and investors.

You can have an all singing and dancing website with high quality photography, video content and great design, but if the copy isn’t up to scratch, you risk putting people off.

Poor spelling and bad grammar suggests a lack of attention to detail which can make consumers question the quality of your products and services. Websites and social posts are often the first thing people view when they are looking for a new supplier or business partner, so if your copy isn’t up to scratch, your customers might start to question the value, or even the credibility, of what you’re offering.

But fear not, because for every company in need of winning communications, there is a copywriter armed with pencil (or keyboard) ready to set your copy straight.

So, why should you hire a copywriter?

 

  1. Attention to detail

Put simply, spell check isn’t fool proof. We’ve all experienced the horror of autocorrect where a text message or email is accidentally sent with an embarrassing mistake and while you may be able to laugh it off with friends, you want to make sure there are no silly errors in your copy.

 

Source: Huffington Post

Now I must admit spell check does make our lives a little easier, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t fall foul of Word autocorrecting your brand or product names, especially if they’re unusual, to something bizarre because it can’t understand.

The antidote to this is to get a real human to proof your work. Letting a copywriter work their magic means you can be sure any duplicate words or autocorrect errors will be swiftly removed. A second pair of eyes is also useful to ensure your copy makes sense to the reader. It is important to remember who you’re talking to as acronyms and technical language might make sense to an industry expert, but may sound like double dutch to your customers.

 

  1. Grammar

You may have heard the phrase ‘grammar saves lives’ and it’s true. Just take Rachael Ray (below) as an example.

Source: Tastefully Offensive

I’m fairly confident in saying Rachael hasn’t actually cooked her family or her dog, but this magazine cover is a great example of where a lack of punctuation can leave you at the very least feeling silly, or in the worst case, land you in hot water!

It’s a well-known fact that copywriters are sticklers for the correct use of punctuation, so to make sure you don’t end up giving the wrong impression, it’s always worth letting a professional give your copy a good read.

 

  1. Time

Do you really have the time to write all the content for your new website or complete the copy for your next newsletter on time? If you’re pushed for time and writing content in a hurry, you’re more likely to make mistakes and not show off your brand to its best.

Source: Shutterstock

 

The key to good project management is delegating, so why not let the professionals handle the copy, leaving you time to get on with all the other things on your ‘to do’ list!

So if you just can’t find the right words, or you have a whole editorial project which needs managing, just shout and a copywriter will be there to give you a helping hand.

At Acceleris we have our very own dedicated Writers Inc. department which is poised to help you tackle any copywriting brief or take on editorial projects you need managing (we even write books).

To find out more about how we can help, or if you just fancy grabbing a coffee, get in touch

From Projects to Parenthood

Charley Oakes - Senior Copywriter and Editorial Project Manager

Charley Oakes – Senior Copywriter and Editorial Project Manager

This week I go on maternity leave and the biggest ‘project’ of my life gets ever closer. In the run-up to my temporary departure from Acceleris, time has become more of a theme than usual. There’s an irony there, in that children and good time management are not natural partners (or so I deduce from the more experienced parents at Acceleris!)

Time is an essential consideration when it comes to day-to-day work at our agency. We operate in a sector that is highly creative and results-driven, but also deadlines-driven. Whether it’s plotting milestones in the run-up to a major event, or adhering to a detailed schedule to deliver a new website or publication, effective time management is vital. You’ll hear us utter plenty of mantras here to keep ourselves and our clients on track. ‘Eat that frog’ is one of our favourites, from the book of the same name, the idea being that you start your day by doing the thing you least want to do, which makes the rest of the day by comparison seem more productive. (We don’t actually eat frogs.)

frog

There’s also plenty of time-related buzzwords flying around, such as ‘capacity’ (shudder), ‘resourcing’ (cringe) and ‘allocations’ (ouch), that are nevertheless essential aspects of effective time management.

For someone whose working life revolves around schedules and planners to ensure that client projects are delivered as required, I find the prospect of motherhood throwing time management out of the window, at least at first, refreshing. I follow a number of parent blogs, one of my favourites being Man vs. Baby by Matt Coyne, who marked his son Charlie’s first birthday with a lovely piece recently where he described his post-baby home as “a place where time is chewed up and we are spat out”. He goes on to say “who could have possibly thought that all this was exactly what our home had been lacking?” This seeming contradiction is highly reassuring from the point of view of an expectant parent!

Most of the questions in my head at the moment are about time. Will I get everything done in time? When will Oakes Junior arrive? How many hours of sleep will we get? Will Mr Oakes and I have at least some time to ourselves here and there, even if it’s just five minutes?

ga1

Preparing for parenthood fills your mind with all sorts of contradictions. For example, I’m both reluctant and willing to depart today. I’ve been with Acceleris for nearly eight years so maternity leave represents the longest time I’ve ever spent away from an office and a talented and supportive team of people that are very special to me. However, I also don’t mind admitting I’m looking forward to a few naps before our little human arrives and transforms sleep, time and life as we know it…

See you later, my dear workmates and clients. I now leave (at least for a little while) the Writers Inc. department in the capable hands of my experienced colleagues and fellow copywriters. By the time I’m back I’m sure it will feel like no time has passed at all!

Keeping a weather eye on the issue of ‘sea blindness’

Charley Oakes - Senior Copywriter and Editorial Project Manager

Charley Oakes – Senior Copywriter and Editorial Project Manager

If only we could bottle the passion of the UK’s leading maritime charities; we could cure a lot of the world’s ills. I would begin with ‘sea blindness’, a topic covered at Seafarers UK’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in June, one of two major maritime charity events I have been privileged to attend in recent weeks, the other being The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society’s AGM in May.

‘Sea blindness’, an issue also touched upon by my colleague Ellie St George-Yorke in her recent article on the Boaty McBoatface debate, refers to ignorance of our island nation’s continuing dependence on the sea for food, commerce and security, and the vital role our seafarers play in all our lives, whether they work in the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Merchant Navy or fishing fleets.

Fisherman

Source: Seafarers UK archive

Today there are organisations and charities doing tireless work to support former seafarers and their dependants, and to promote education, training and careers to attract the best talent and ensure our seafaring community continues to thrive now and in the future.

Seafarers UK, for example, is focusing its fundraising appeal for its centenary year of 2017 on ‘Supporting Seafarers: Past, Present and Future’, with three key campaigns. The Royal Alfred, meanwhile, provides tailor-made care and support to former seafarers and their dependants at its residential home in Surrey. This charity is now in its 151st year, which reflects the enduring need for its services. Indeed, an ageing population means the number of former Merchant Navy seafarers and fishermen over the age of 85 is expected to increase by more than 275% between now and 2030!

Royal Alfred resident

Royal Alfred resident

Awareness of the role of the seafarer and the sea continues to improve but there is always work to be done. The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society runs a campaign every year that does a fantastic job of celebrating our country’s connection with the sea – its annual photography competition invites people to send in their ‘ultimate sea view’, whether images of ships, harbours, ports, wrecks, seafarers or seascapes.

 

‘Wrecked’ by David Jenner, winning image in the ‘Ships and Wrecks’ category of the 2015 Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society photography competition)

‘Wrecked’ by David Jenner, winning image in the ‘Ships and Wrecks’ category of the 2015 Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society photography competition)

 

After working with maritime charities as part of my role at Acceleris for many years, I share their passion for the work they do. I took the following message away with me from both AGMs – we must never lose sight of the nation’s dependence on or our responsibility to the maritime community.

Sea blindness is certainly not an issue at Acceleris, which has a specialist maritime communications team working with a diverse range of clients within the sector. To find out more, please visit the Acceleris website.

 

The key to cereal success?

Katie Wadsworth - Copywriter / Account Executive, Acceleris

Katie Wadsworth – Copywriter / Account Executive

On Monday 4th July, cereal giant Kellogg’s opened its first ever restaurant in New York’s Times Square. While it may seem a little strange to open a café dedicated to cereal, Kellogg’s is not the first, with similar outfits including the Cereal Killer Café in Camden and Brick Lane, London. Both businesses are capitalising on the experience economy which has evolved from the modern consumer’s desire to interact with brands and experience something which is, ultimately, Instagram worthy.

Kellogg’s is not the first brand to tap into the experience economy; other companies include Magnum which has created a series of ‘pleasure stores’ where customers can craft their perfect Magnum from a variety of indulgent toppings, and Italian fashion house Armani, which has its own luxury hotels in Milan and Dubai.

Magnum London

Source: Magnum

The move by the cereal giant to open a café comes as it was recently revealed that in the past 15 years, cereal sales have fallen by almost 30 per cent*. Cereal companies are often vilified for producing products containing too much sugar, fat and salt, and now they are struggling to impress a cynical, health-conscious audience.

Once considered the only breakfast option, and a fast one at that, cereal is no longer quick enough to keep up with our busy lives, with consumers favouring breakfast bars or yoghurt which they can transport more easily. Almost 40 per cent of millennials surveyed by Mintel* also said cereal was an inconvenient breakfast choice because they had to clean up after eating it!

Kellogg’s has engaged top American chef, Christina Tosi, to devise new recipes from the home favourite cereals, including creations such as ‘Pistachio & Lemon’ (spiked Frosted Flakes and Special K) and ‘The Circus’ (Raisin Bran, peanuts and banana chips). Andrew Shripka, associate director of brand marketing at Kellogg’s, said: “We could have put a great recipe on the box. But this is much more powerful.”

‘Milk-based creations’ on display at Kellogg’s New York. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

‘Milk-based creations’ on display at Kellogg’s New York. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

It appears the company didn’t want to just stage a PR stunt – although the opening has been covered by everyone from Reuters, to The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian – instead they are trying to encourage consumers to experiment and look at cereal as a dining event rather than a mundane experience. Each customer also gets a free toy, which goes some way to recapturing the joy of childhood!

Tapping into the experience economy is a good way for companies to engage with their consumers, and while it may initially be the novelty factor which will draw people in to the café, the space will serve an important function for Kellogg’s in the long term. Other brands that have set up cafés, for example Chobani – an American yoghurt brand which opened a café in New York in 2012 – has seen its café double in size since opening, with sales growing annually by 40 per cent.

Chobani’s New York café has also served as a place for the company to try out new items and a number of new product lines, including a range of mezze dips, have been created following customer feedback and trials.

So while the venture may seem a little surreal at first mention, the Kellogg’s Times Square café could breathe new life into the brand and perhaps even become a cereal success!

Acceleris is no stranger to launching brands and has helped many companies – from local confectioners to large third sector organisations – build and maintain their reputations, both in the UK and worldwide. For more information on our credentials, take a look at our website.

*Mintel report, 2015

Crippling, obsessive, maddening perfectionism: a copywriter’s prerogative

I recently read a blog by The Drum contributor Andrew Boulton, boldly entitled The Psychology of a Copywriter, which endeavoured to explore and explain what exactly makes a copywriter tick. The author conceded that everyone has their own quirks and foibles so the generalisation may not apply to all, but I think he may have been onto something when he described copywriters as being prone to “a crippling, obsessive, maddening perfectionism”.

While you may think it strange for me to embrace the labelling of myself and my fellow copywriters as “obsessive” and mad perfectionists, I actually think in this profession these traits are no bad thing. At Writers Inc., Acceleris’ own copywriting division, we deal with large-scale projects on a regular basis and these “perfectionist” traits provide a great foundation for managing complex projects. This got me thinking, what are the key ingredients to managing an editorial project?

  1. Organisation

I have a natural penchant for colour coding and anyone who has visited my house is quickly aware of my love of categorising just about anything, from books, to my ever growing collection of shoes… but a natural desire for organisation serves one well when in the thick of a project.

Admittedly, the concept of organisation is relative, but in a project of any size, having a clear process for collating emails, copy, amends, etc. is essential to ensure that things run smoothly and information is easily accessible at short notice; this has been particularly essential on our current project for corporate law firm Addleshaw Goddard (watch this space for more details!).

When you’re managing a large-scale project and liaising with multiple individuals for approvals and amends, being organised becomes even more vital, as it ensures that you can give informed progress reports whenever requested. It also helps you to keep track of, and resolve, any issues which may occur in the course of the project.

  1. Understanding the brief and beyond

This may seem simple (of course you need to understand what the brief asks for) but it goes further than that. In an editorial project, you need to understand the core values and motivations of the organisation in order to express those ideals through the copy you produce.

Whether you are writing copy for a car manual or a charity’s annual report, you are communicating that organisation’s values to the reader through the tone of the piece and the style of the language that you use. It is also equally important to understand the needs of the audience and ensure the tone of communication is properly targeted.

We recently completed a large editorial project for national maritime charity, The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, creating a book entitled Home from Sea to celebrate the Society’s 150th Anniversary, which required close attention to both the Society’s voice, as well as addressing the audience’s needs.

The literature or website that you produce may be the first interaction that a customer or a member of the public has with that organisation, which is why it is important that values are clearly understood and communicated.

  1. Communication

I refer back to Andrew Boulton’s article here, as I feel he effectively captures the tone of a copywriter’s communications: “The very nature of the job is to be, not the loudest voice, but the most compelling.”

As a copywriter, you need to be able to clearly and effectively communicate editorial advice to your clients, ensuring that the editorial project is smooth sailing and the brief is met, messages are communicated and it is all completed in the most time and cost effective manner possible.

So while copywriters may be prone to “crippling, obsessive, maddening perfectionism”, we do make pretty good project managers!

For more information about Writers Inc., click here or follow us on Twitter @AMCWriters.

– Katie Wadsworth
Katie Wadsworth - Copywriter / Account Executive, Acceleris

Katie Wadsworth – Copywriter / Account Executive

Acceleris: a review of 2015

The end of one year and the beginning of another is always a time for both reflection and anticipation. Reflection on the successes – and disappointments – of the past 12 months and anticipation of what the coming year has in store. In an uncertain world, however, the only certainty is that events will happen that none of us can currently predict.

With  a presidential election in the United States, a potential EU referendum in the UK, the continuing migrant crisis enveloping Europe and the insidious spread of terrorism, it can sometimes feel as though we are at the mercy of tumultuous events beyond our control. Institutions that once seemed to be the pillars of a stable society – Parliament, the Church, banking, the media, business and even sport – have all been mired in controversy.

So it is important at this time of year to reflect on the success of the things upon which we do have control.

In the case of Acceleris, on the verge of our 10th anniversary year, there has been much of which we can be justly proud.

We have won major national and international awards – named  as ‘Large Agency of the Year’ in the UK Public Sector Communications Awards held at The Emirates Stadium in London and winner of the fiercely contested ‘Issues and Reputation Management’ trophy in the prestigious European Communications Excellence Awards in Stockholm. Such accolades are credit to the creativity, intelligence and commitment of the people who make up the Acceleris team in Yorkshire and London.

We recently won another European Excellence Award in 'Issues and Reputation Management'

We recently won another European Excellence Award in ‘Issues and Reputation Management’

We have delivered campaigns for international clients  in multiple languages in almost a dozen countries; we have launched new companies, re-branded existing ones, worked with Paralympian athlete Baroness (Tanni) Grey-Thompson to get a better deal for wheelchair users, produced our first hard back book to commemorate a charity client’s remarkable 150 year history and seen our team presented to its Patron, HRH The Princess Royal. We have seen our clients dominate the front pages of national newspapers, feature in television and radio news programmes and increase their social media profiles to positive effect.

We launched the Wheelchair Leadership Alliance this summer with the help of Baroness Grey-Thompson

We launched the Wheelchair Leadership Alliance this summer with the help of Baroness Grey-Thompson

In an increasingly ‘noisy’ world, where the amount of information is already at levels which the human brain finds hard to assimilate, the challenge for all organisations – be they in  the public, private or third sector – is how to achieve ‘cut-through’ with their messages to ensure they reach the audiences they want to address.

That’s what we will be working to achieve for all our clients in 2016. We will do it by retaining a consistent desire to deliver a high quality service based on intelligence, insight and innovation allied to an enthusiasm to embrace new ideas and new thinking.

To all our clients, partners and friends, we thank you for your support in 2015 and wish you a very happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.

What’s in a name, love?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.”

In the week a Yorkshire based care home made headlines by being accused of “demeaning” its residents by calling them colloquial terms such as “love” or “darling”, I am reminded of the above quote from Romeo and Juliet which made me wonder – how much power is held in a name, and do we need to be mindful of this?

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) clearly believe names have the propensity to cause offence as they marked down the Brackenley residential home in a report, partly because they felt the terms staff used to address people with learning disabilities in their care could potentially be construed as “patronising”.

Stephanie Kirkman Meikle, chief executive of Harrogate Skills 4 Living, which runs Brackenley, expressed surprise by this finding and insisted they would not ban staff using these affectionate terms.

The Yorkshire dialect can often be a culture shock for people!

The Yorkshire dialect can often be a culture shock for people!

“Some residents have their own terms of endearment that they asked to be called. One likes to be known as Parsnip because that’s what she is known as in her family, so that’s what we call her,” she said.

“We always discuss these things with residents and it is in their care plans. We would never call someone something they don’t want.”

This incident highlights how language, even in its most innocent form, can potentially impact on how organisations are perceived and can divide opinion.

An online poll on itv.com found 89.9% of people who voted agreed with the care home and did not find the terms “love”, “darling” and “sweetie” demeaning. The majority of online news outlets also reported in favour of the care home and this incident was largely seen as another example of political correctness gone mad.

Dr Barrie M Rhodes, a linguist and member of the Yorkshire Dialect Society, told The Telegraph: “The use of the word love is part of our heritage – God knows how many centuries it has been going on but a very long time. Why anybody in an inspectorate would bother to get their hackles up about anything like that I’ve no idea.”

As this is not the first time Yorkshire dialect has come under attack, it’s understandable that Dr Barrie was keen to defend his local tongue. Last April, a similar furore was caused when Tour de France guides in Yorkshire were banned from using certain greetings during their day-to-day role. Again, “love” and “darling” arose as possibly offensive terms. At the time, Sir Michael Parkinson, born in South Yorkshire, labelled the decision “daft” and went as far as to say the word “love” is what “Yorkshire is all about”.

I have recently relocated to North Yorkshire from London to join Acceleris and although there is the initial culture shock of being surrounded by a different accent than I’m accustomed to, I am quite endeared with the local terms up North. This, of course, could be attributed to the novelty factor involved – down in ‘Sarf’ London, I was regularly referred to as “mate” but rarely heard “love”. In both cases, I was aware that these throwaway terms hurled at me were not intended to cause upset.

It seems likely that problems with language occur when names are deliberately intended to patronise. David Cameron’s infamous “calm down, dear” gaffe is a lesson in how words take on a certain meaning depending on the situation and tone they’re expressed in. The most sensible approach to interacting with others is to use common sense. David Cameron could have avoided this PR blunder by making a better judgement call on what would be deemed acceptable in those circumstances.

At Writers Inc. we understand how crucial it is to get your language right. We are content and editorial specialists who understand how to convey your message in the best light.
Above all, it appears reasonable to try to always consider the context in which you’re speaking and, failing that, remember that words are subjective, love.