Im not sure why I care, I shouldnt but I do, cos its important...

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I was walking down the street in my lovely London village of St Margaret’s when, shock and horror, I spotted a shop sign: ‘St Margarets XXX’. (I don’t want to name and shame this shop, so let’s call it XXX for now). This was written not only on the main shop front, but also on the billboards outside.

My father – the most eloquent and grammatically astute person I know – says I am making a mountain out of a molehill. He says it’s a linguistic change over the years that has now become the norm and is, therefore, totally acceptable in colloquial speech.

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IN THE DARK ABOUT THE WORDS ‘BLACK FRIDAY’?

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That’s a wrap on BLACK FRIDAY for another year…but why on earth is it called ‘Black Friday’ in the first place? We all go about our bargain binge without as morsel of thought as to its meaning. Like Father Christmas himself, there are different accounts about what’s truly real. So, what do you think is humbug or historic fact?
A) In the 1980s, US retailers started using the words for the day when they move ‘into the black’, after being in the red for much for the year before.

B) It was a term coined by American police because of the terrible traffic when people visited town in their droves following Thanksgiving.

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THERE'S NO HYBERBOLE LIKE SNOW HYPERBOLE…

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THE BEAST FROM THE EAST . . .

 The 'Beast from the East' has been bringing in icy Siberian winds and heavy snow from Russia. And don't we all know about it! I do feel for those in Scotland, but for us townies in London, it's mostly been manageable. Schools haven't even closed here in the 'burbs, much to the chagrin of my children. What tickles me though - as we 'brave the elements in arctic temperatures' and we 'batten down the hatches as the storm engulfs' - is the onslaught of hyperbole that everyone seems to relish when talking about the weather.

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Why the word STAKEHOLDER must DIE...

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OK, hands up, I got my 6-year-old to draw this picture. But there are surprisingly few images out there with vampires and stakes that are appropriate for this blog. Anyway, it’s got your attention - right?

I digress. This is not a piece about images, but – and the clue is in the title – it is about the word ‘stakeholder’, and why it needs to die. Preferably forever, in a vampiric way, worthy of The Lost Boys. It’s a word that almost every client utters to me when we have content briefings. It also worms its way into my copy during amends. Blogs, articles, reports, interviews, video scripts – you name it. It’s always there, staring at me, making my eyes want to bleed. Although you’ll never see it in my final draft. Ever. Here’s why….

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THE RISE OF ROBO-JOURNALISM

THE RISE OF ROBO-JOURNALISM - COULD THIS ARTICLE BE WRITTEN BY A MACHINE?

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Recently I have been writing a lot about automation, machine-learning, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and so on. In short: the transformation of life as we know it. The rising power of AI and robots is scary stuff, if you think about it long enough. Not least when those in the know warn that AI is a "risk to human existence" - Elon Musk, Tesla Co-founder, in this instance. And then there's world-renowned physicist Professor Stephen Hawking saying that AI could be "the worst event in the history of our civilization".

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