Good Copy, Bad Copy
When did you start out blogging?
According to my archive, October 2006. I can’t believe it’s been that long!
How did you choose your blog name?
It’s a play on the phrase “good cop, bad cop”. The original idea was that I’d dissect examples of both good copy and bad copy, but I’ve found I’m mostly drawn to the latter. Firstly, because there’s so much more of it, and secondly because it’s a lot more fun (for me and my readers) to ridicule really bad writing. I guess it’s also meant I’ve become the bad cop – a sneery, mean policer of terrible prose.
What's it all about and why?
It’s about corporatese – that awful jargon-rich, clichéd and verbose form of language people use at work because they think it impresses. I poke fun at this corp speak and show business people how to ditch it in favour of talking like human beings. I started the blog because I saw clients making the same writing mistakes over and over again, and I’ve kept it going because it’s still fun to point out the ridiculous things people say at work.
What do you do when you're not blogging?
When I’m not working with clients (mostly in financial services), you’ll find me playing the flute badly. In term time, I’ll be spending my evenings studying for a law degree for the next couple of years. Law is all about using language to persuade, so it’s a good fit.
If you could be in one place in the world right now, where would it be?
Sitting outside a restaurant in Sicily with my husband, a plate of fresh seafood and a glass of chilled white. Which is exactly where I plan to be in a few weeks’ time!
Who or what is your main inspiration?
The investor Warren Buffett. He famously says you should never invest in something you don’t understand, and for that reason he’s a champion of plain speaking. When he sits down to write his company’s annual reports, he says he imagines he’s talking not to experts but to his two sisters, Doris and Bertie. It’s why we named our company Doris and Bertie. My business partner, David, and I are always being asked which of us is Doris and which is Bertie.