Archive for the 'Free mugs!' Category

Three principles of Talknormalism

Evidently I am still getting the hang of the whole motivation thing

Delighted as I am to be mentioned in the Observer yesterday, I worry that some readers might get the idea that I am a grumpy negative old man who thinks everything was better before the internet was invented.

This is incorrect in more than three ways. I’m actually middle-aged and remarkably cheerful, all things considered. Taking into account the decline in the TN Joy Index, I’m looking comparatively more chipper by the hour. I’m such a positive person that I spent 5 minutes inspiring others by creating my own motivational poster (top) using the free app at Big Huge Labs. I encourage you to go there and make your own version to share with us. If I get a few in I’ll put them in a post and I’ll send the best submission a Talk Normal mug and a signed book (or unsigned, if you’d prefer). What an incentive.

I also don’t think we should be stuck in the past. “But what does he think?”, you ask. At risk of telling you all the good bits about the book for free, I’d like to point out the three principles of Talknormalism:

1. Try to be understood by everyone who’s listening. This takes imagination. For example: Professor David Crystal, who is a wonderful writer about the history of the language, points out that there are 400 million native speakers of English – and 1.4 billion more who speak it as a second language.

It makes sense to consider people who don’t speak English first, especially if you’re in business: their domestic economies are usually more successful than ours.

2. Stop trying to sound clever for no reason. Anyone can make complicated things complicated. It takes thought to make those things easier to understand.

3. It’s about attitude, not rules. I would guess that there’s a lot of bad punctuation, in Talk Normal. Were I to be put to the test, I would not be able to remember grammar rules with which to make your writing more elegant, um, with. Therefore, if you want a set of rules to follow, try this book instead. I’m also not against new words and phrases; I make some up on this blog.

Talknormalism doesn’t look back to a fictitious golden age and ask that we preserve it; but we can do a better job with the language we have today. That’s why we need to see your motivational posters, fellow Talknormalists.

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You read the blog, soon buy the book

The first Ronald McDonald. Note that Mr McDonald is now the company's chief happiness officer, which makes me want to shove his head down a toilet even more.

To quote John Oliver from The Bugle podcast: “We are back! Is it better than ever? No. It was happening, then it stopped for a little bit, now it’s happening again.”

As Talk Normal starts the Autumn term, I have announcements.

News part one: monetization of assets

There’s going to be a Talk Normal book. That’s right! In a while you’ll be able to read the best of Talk Normal by paying money for it, rather than getting it for free!

But there will be lots of new material too. Before I write it, I have a question:

News part two: crowdsourcing

What would you want to see in the book of Talk Normal?

Imagine it’s the sort of stuff you get only on prescription. Suggest something in the comments, or email me if you are shy. There’s a limited edition Talk Normal mug for any that I use in the book.

News part three: don’t worry, I’m in control

People who should know better put me in charge of the Market Research Society‘s Social Media Conference on 23 September. Are they mad? I had to tell them that I might not make the planning meeting because I’ll be on the way back from Bestival. They would never have had this problem had they booked Brian Conley.

The keynote’s being given by Andrew Keen, who wrote Cult of the Amateur: How the Internet is killing our culture. On the face of it, it’s like putting on a Vegetarian Society conference and asking Ronald McDonald to keynote. I’m hoping it kicks off a bit, then at least I won’t have to do the: “No questions? Ha ha well it must have been an excellent presentation ha ha” covering thing after he finishes his speech.

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