Reading about copywriting and content

I recently purchased two e-books from Smashing Magazine:

Effective Copywriting and Content Strategy

Effective Copywriting and Content Strategy

The bundle costs around £5.50, and they’ve both given me a lot to think about when it comes to writing and planning.

Effective Copywriting is really good with plenty to read, and although I haven’t buried myself into Content Strategy completely, it was still interesting.

So I recommend them if you’re thrown into the deep end with copywriting and content management.  But they’re not going to solve all your problems, just give you nice things to think about while you’re trying to solve them yourself.

My new favourite word

Remember in Donnie Darko where the teacher tells Donnie that “cellardoor” is the most beautiful word in the English language?

I’m going to disagree. Although the word I’m currently in love with isn’t a single word, it’s a contraction.


There’s just so much information contained in those seven letters and three apostrophes. It doesn’t just include the words that are contracted, it includes so much information about the person saying it, about the audience, about the possible location…

Y’all is such an amazing word anyway. A single four-letter word that can encompass everything from two people to an entire planet. A word that rhymes with how you have to say it – you drawl “y’all”, saying it slowly and with the sweetness of a praline or the sharpness of greens.

Add in the contractions for “would” and “have”, and you have nearly a full sentence. “You all would have…” Is it recrimination? Regret? A cocky response to a great achievement?

“Y’all’d’ve saved those kittens from that house fire too.”

“Y’all’d’ve known that the bridge was out – why did you still drive the school bus down that road?”

“Y’all’d’ve helped if you could, but the store’s gone out of business anyway.”

I suppose you could argue that the apostrophe-d could also stand for “could” or “should” rather than just “would”, but when you then create sentences with the former, it doesn’t sound quite right.

“Y’all’d’ve gone to the pancake breakfast, but you slept in instead.”

“I told y’all’d’ve put the dogs out, but you didn’t listen!”

In both cases, breaking up “y’all” and “could’ve” and “should’ve” sounds better. So “y’all’d’ve” works well with “would”, but not “could” or “should”.

Y’all’d’ve. It’s a good word. It’s not for everyone, but I think it’s perfect for me.

The Acheulean Hand Axe

A hand axe from Saint Acheul

A hand axe from Saint Acheul, from Didier Descouens on Wikimedia

Before any other human discipline, even before the dawn of mankind its self, design was a practice passed down from generation to generation of early humans. Today, everything that has been designed–space ships, buildings, pyramids, weapons, clothing , artwork, everything–can be traced back to a single designed object. The first designed object: the Acheulean hand axe.

Episode 131: Genesis Object – 99% Invisible