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George Caveney

AI copy – what do I think?

By Copywriting, Tone of voice, WritingNo Comments

I’ve dedicated 16 years of my adult life to becoming a better writer – of course I give a monkey’s about what AI might mean to my livelihood. A very large monkey’s, in fact.


With one eye closed, my mouse hovering over the ‘close window’ button, and knowing I’ve enough fuel in the van to reach the coast, I’ve explored a few articles on the matter. So far, I’m still sitting here. So far, I’m not overly frightened. But equally, I’m not daft or dismissive enough to ignore AI’s potential to transform how, collectively, we go about our business of persuasive written communication.

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Let me be clear…

By Copywriting, Editing, WritingNo Comments

I’ve been reading ‘Do I Make Myself Clear’- Why Writing Well Matters’ by (Sir) Harold Evans (28 June 1928 – 23 September 2020). In some ways I wish I’d read it earlier in my career as a copywriter, but I think it might have been too much to take in while relatively green. Now, it’s more of an acerbic, witty reassurance that my internal dialogue when reading or editing godawful guff isn’t just grumpiness – and that my instinct is dependable.

He also reminds me that there’s a time and a place to be right about this: always and everywhere. But not necessarily out loud. Read More

I was not fed the cat

By Uncategorized, WritingNo Comments

So it seems we’ve lost the war against ‘I was sat’.

And ‘I was stood’.

And others.

Sadly, these simple and needless atrocities feature daily in my conversations, and in my consumption of media. I’m not being a pedantic git – at least I don’t think I am. I genuinely think it’s a real shame, because it sounds daft and lazy. And that’s not what you want. At least I hope it isn’t.

Yet every day I hear it. And see it. For whatever reason, it’s common parlance. Even among those I know have a better grasp of the language.

Something stole our grasp of past participles.  

In remembrance, here’s how they once went:

I sit; I am sitting. I sat; I was sitting.

I stand; I am standing. I stood; I was standing.

I was NOT sat.

I was NOT stood.

Nor was I ate a cake. Nor was I listened to music. Nor was I brushed my hair.

I was not fed the cat.


Yeah, it’s that simple. It’s probably too late, but if you feel like fighting the decline honourably, please do.

Or if you do it, and have a valid explanation or excuse, let’s hear it:

Write for one person

By Copywriting, TOV, WritingNo Comments

Of course, to write effectively on a business’ behalf, you need to know your audience. You need at least an overview of what matters to them, the problems you can solve for them, what makes them happy, and so on. And you need to be able to distinguish your brand from all the others vying for the same audience’s attention.


But here’s the thing… Read More

Jargon is exclusive

By Copywriting, WritingNo Comments

But not in a good way…

People often adopt and use jargon to impress others. It doesn’t. Unless you’re in a profession where the language you use describes something specific and precise – and where it is crucial to the context – all you’re doing is showing that you’re not quite sure of yourself, or your message. Read More

‘It’s all in the brief’

By CopywritingNo Comments

One of the key arts of copywriting is condensing often complex or over-busy messages into clear and succinct ones that avoid wasting people’s precious time. Often there’s a lot to say, and not a lot of space (or attention span) to say it – so we ensure fewer words work much harder in getting key messages across. Read More