Historic love affairs, your free gift and making up words

Last Thursday I attended a networking evening at the City Business Library in Guildhall, a venue where I’ve run social media training sessions in the past. Those workshops were great and I made some brilliant contacts, but the networking evenings have canapés and wine…  It was good fun!

My friend Mark was one of the keynote speakers and he praised me to the room, which was very nice of him.  He also drove me home after my glass of Rioja, and made me laugh so much I got hiccups; very elegant for a woman of my age….

Mark runs a business hub in Southend where SMEs in Essex can meet, learn and develop their businesses under his helpful hand.  It seems that when he’s not working, he is busy making up words!  His latest was oddinator and, while it may not have been added to the Cambridge Dictionary yet, I have found myself using it this weekend!

Another speaker was a fab lady who had also worked at Redbridge Council back in the day.  Julie launched Too Fat to Run, a fat girl’s guide to running, after taking on the challenge of her first marathon a few years ago.  She has since appeared on various daytime TV shows and in a whole host of magazines, encouraging larger ladies to get off their bums and have fun in a pair of trainers.  I don’t run.  I found Julie extremely inspirational nonetheless, as she chatted about building her empire through social media, and her global running ‘meet-ups’ where women take part in countries all around the world.

Imaginative Training | social media blog | social media training | Plain English training | Plain English editing | copywritingThe evening was organised by ELBP, for whom I have run many social media training workshops.  During one session a couple of years ago I met Dr Maria Zoutsou , a wonderful therapist who helps people to banish stress and achieve optimal well-being.  Maria booked me for a one-to-one session to go through marketing techniques and learn to use LinkedIn effectively, as well as talking about ways to grow her business.  So I’m very pleased to be able to share her brand new ebook with you!  Maria is kindly allowing you to download it as a free gift, right here!  (Thank you for sharing this, Maria.)

Pre-social media and on-line blogging, people’s diaries kept a running commentary of their lives, recorded for posterity and usually discarded.  Samuel Pepys kept one of the UK’s most celebrated diaries, surviving over 350 years and chronicling major London events such as the bubonic plague and the Great Fire of London, along with a personal recount of his many love affairs!  An exhibition of his life and work is just about to close at the Greenwich Museum, but Karen and I stumbled upon it on Good Friday while we were looking for a cake shop.

I hadn’t realised Pepys only wrote his diary for nine years – if I follow in his cream ribboned satin Stuart shoes I’m half way there!  Debate rages about whether he intended the diary to become public, as much of the original text is written in shorthand and code.  It took a Victorian scholar three years to decipher the diary, only to discover at the end that the key to the code was right there on the bookshelf above his head!  I bet he wasn’t laughing to the point of hiccups!

I don’t code anything I write. It’s all set out in plain English.  I do make up words though, and having a masters degree in linguistics, I’m rarely challenged – a bit like Gary Kemp:  ‘Reasons reasons were here from the start; it’s my instinction, it’s my instinction. Reasons reasons were part of the art; it’s my instinction, it’s my instinction.  Stealing cake to eat the moon.’ (I love the last line.)

If you fancy getting together to make up words, or edit complex stuff into plain English, ask me about it here: @WeekendWitch.

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