Passive voice alert

The difference between active and passive voice, alt text on social media, readable emojis and useful tools for content folks.

Well that was a lovely week in the world of Plain English Weekly. We've gone from 100 to 250+ subscribers in no time at all. Thank you to everyone who shared it with their internet pals. Much appreciated!

I'm not going to faff around for too long here, as it's my twin boys' birthday today and there are important things to do. Needless to say, enjoy the links below and again, feel free to forward this on or post it to your socials.

Go find something useful...


PS Here is my LinkedIn profile and freelance website if you want to learn more about me and whatever the heck it is I do.

I run plain English workshops with teams from all sorts of organisations. Email for more information.

What Passive Voice Is and When to Use It

'Prefer the active voice' is one the principles of writing in plain English. The way I approach this in workshops is to first help people understand the difference between active and passive voice. You know you've got it when you can be on passive voice alert without it feeling like a chore.

If you can easily spot the passive voice, you're in a pretty good position to make a decision about whether it should be active instead. In most cases, active is your best option. But not always, as this Grammarly blog post points out.

Check out the accompanying video too. It's pretty good, though I reckon it makes things a bit more complicated than they need to be!

Accounts Acing Alt Text on Social Media

Adding alt text to an image is a way of describing its content and meaning in an alternative format. Enjoy these examples from Holly Tuke, who has gathered a collection of organisations and individuals doing alt text well on social media.

Here's a good introduction to alt text on GOV.UK.

How to use readable, accessible emojis

Love 'em or hate 'em, it's fair to say emojis are now part of many people's everyday communication. If you find yourself popping the odd emoji into your copy, make sure you are doing it in the best possible way.

Tools for content strategists and designers

Lauren Pope is a content strategist who shares an ace newsletter for content folk. She's also very kindly put together this marvellous list of apps and other tools that will help you do your very bestest content work.

Templates: collection of content production templates for Airtable

Do you know Airtable? It's basically sexy spreadsheets that you can also turn into apps. It can do lots of things, but I've used it mostly for planning projects and even the odd prototype. These templates are a good introduction and could be a great addition to your content toolkit.

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