Reboot, remake, recycle

Up

What was the last film you saw that told an original story based on original characters? Genuinely new films are getting rarer and rarer. In 1995, only three of the 10 highest-grossing films were sequels – several others were based on novels or TV series, but were new to the movies. In 2005, six of the 10 biggest films were sequels, prequels, …

I’ve gone freelance

desk

This desk, acquired and assembled by my other half as a birthday present, is testament to the fact that I’ve finally gone freelance! After a decade working in-house for various publications, I handed in my notice this summer and am, as of now, a self-employed writer and editor, working mostly from this very desk. To …

Is “socialist” a dirty word?

Lenin

This piece by Timothy Egan in the New York Times explores how the US public understands the term “socialist”. His point is that, while the word “socialist” may terrify people, actual socialist policies, don’t. To me it seems that part of this is because Americans tend to equate “socialist” with “communist”, whereas over here in Europe we …

Win, win, win, win, win

Victory!

How many times can you win in one situation? We’ve all heard of win-win situations – but now  we’re seeing the rise of win-win-win situations. The image this conjures up for me is of a Mexican standoff being resolved amicably, with everyone putting down their guns, learning an important lesson about life and sitting down together to share some …

Content in context

Some content, yesterday

Content is a big deal these days. If you work in media or marketing, you’ll be hearing a lot about content. Even if you don’t, you may be thinking about it as a way to help promote your business. My job title recently changed from a series of variations on “editor”, to “head of content”. …

Rules that are there to be broken

Oh, it's broken

I enjoyed this very sensible piece by Steven Pinker for the Guardian, on grammar rules that it’s OK to break – sometimes. Pinker says of grammar rules: Supposedly a writer has to choose between two radically different approaches to these rules. Prescriptivists prescribe how language ought to be used. They uphold standards of excellence and a respect …

Another reason to love Wikipedia

Wikipedia statue

As if there weren’t already enough reasons to love Wikipedia, I think their fundraising email sent out in the run up to Christmas is brilliant. Clear, simple, informal, and not afraid to say bluntly what Wikipedia is and isn’t. “Advertising is not evil. But it doesn’t belong here.” “We don’t think having your email address …