Text and messaging apps – asynchronous or synchronous?

… and the anxiety of expectation. Here’s a great piece from Julie Beck on TheAtlantic.com: How It Became Normal to Ignore Texts and Emails. People don’t need fancy technology to ignore each other, of course: It takes just as little effort to avoid responding to a letter, or a voicemail, or not to answer the door […]

Rock and roll rhetoric: Merry Xmas Everybody

Are you hanging up the stocking on your wall? Are you hoping that the snow will start to fall? Do you ride on down the hillside In a buggy you have made? When you land upon your head Then you’ve been slayed. Merry Xmas Everybody (Holder, Lea), Slade A raucous, joyous Christmas favourite and a […]

The power and importance of imagery @TheTimes #Writing

An interesting piece from yesterday’s Times on the power of vivid imagery to engage and influence. Ancient literary critics called this quality enargeia, the ability to instil a scene so powerfully in the reader’s mind that they feel as though they are living through it themselves. Psychologists studying how 402 people responded to classic Japanese haikus […]

Rock and roll rhetoric: Life In The Fast Lane

There were lines on the mirror, Lines on her face She pretended not to notice, She was caught up in the race. Life In The Fast Lane, (Walsh, Henley, Frey), Eagles That first couplet works so well because it takes a mental double-take to realise that the first set of lines are on and not in the mirror. […]

Less is more: Daniel Kahneman on detail

Daniel Kahneman’s book Thinking, Fast and Slow is essential reading for anyone involved in business communication. It is packed with insights on how we (and therefore our audience) perceive and interpret things. One particular challenge is described in chapter 13: “Linda: Less is More”. The challenge is epitomised by a fictitious character, Linda, that Kahneman […]

Stories are told in the body – @JeremyAdamSmith #writing #contentmarketing

Stories are told in the body, says Jeremy Smith: It doesn’t seem that way. We tend to think of stories as emerging from consciousness—from dreams or fantasies—and travelling through words or images to other minds. We see them outside of us, on paper or on screen, never under the skin. But we do feel stories. […]

We are watched by large and awful faces – @execupundit

Here’s a haunting quote from Hilaire Belloc, via the insightful and productive Michael Wade: “We sit by and watch the barbarian. We tolerate him in the long stretches of peace, we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence; his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creed refreshes us; we laugh. […]

Echoes through time: Vex not thy spirit

“Vex not thy spirit at the course of things; They heed not thy vexation.” Marcus Aurelius (121 – 180), Meditations (Book 7)

Rock and roll rhetoric: Searching for a Heart

“They say love conquers all You can’t start it like a car You can’t stop it with a gun.” Searching for a Heart (Zevon), Warren Zevon What a great line. Everyone, since the Roman poet Virgil, knows that love conquers all, but no-one explains why … until Zevon states the obvious, timeless truth in his […]

The rehabilitation of Michael Gove

Since leaving office, in the bizarre aftermath of the Brexit vote, Michael Gove has returned to his prior career as a writer, writing a regular column for the Times. His two latest contributions are excellent, objective observations on current events. The first, in the immediate aftermath of the Westminster attack, contemplates how best to respond […]

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