Subbing the world

Righting copywriting wrongs, one word at a time

Assume the position

Virgin Media Spotify ad

This tiny bit of microcopy on a Virgin Media ad in Spotify made me smile.

The caption says, Rollover for legals.

I guess at some point in our lives we’re all asked to do that, in one way or another.


Filed under: Amusing tangents, microcopy

Carry On Signwriting

I spotted this on Dave Gorman’s Flickr. (Yes, that Dave Gorman. He’s quite the photographer.)

Organ Blower Room

One can only marvel at the innocence of whoever put this up. (Unless, of course, they snickered to themselves the whole time they were doing it.)

Filed under: Amusing tangents, Jargon

Going a bit quiet

Sorry that I’ve gone a bit quiet recently. An avalanche of work has descended on me, just as I begin to prepare in earnest for next week’s house move.

Were I given to weary popular cliché, I might suggest this is a perfect storm of conditions, conspiring to whirl me away from concentrating on this blog. But I’m not, so I won’t.

Instead, I’ll just apologise for the ongoing silence. It will, I hope, be broken very soon after I’ve unpacked a few boxes and found something to sit on at the new house.

In the meantime, here’s a dodgy iPhone shot of my local yoga centre, which I can’t help feeling could have been better named.

Kripalu Centre

Until later, then.

Filed under: Amusing tangents, Naming

Passionate about exposing ludicrous language

If you’re reading this blog, and enjoying it at all, then you probably share my exasperated despair at the ceaseless tide of brands telling us they’re ‘passionate’ about whatever it is they do.

It’s one of those words that someone, somewhere, decided sounded great, and then the rest of the marketing world agreed. So now everyone uses it, and any value it may once have had has become so utterly diluted, the word is now worse than meaningless. It’s become actively irritating, suggesting nothing but cynical, bandwoggoning insincerity.

But I needn’t go on, because David Mitchell, that comedian off the telly, has said it much better on his (excellent) YouTube channel, David Mitchell’s Soapbox. It’s a channel I’ve become amorously obsessed with.

Filed under: Amusing tangents, Clichés, Downright ugly

Pulled in two directions

A lovely contribution, this, from designer David Hyde. As David says, your first reaction is that the confusion is unintentional. But on second thoughts, maybe it’s a deliberate joke.

This blog is about copy cock-ups, though, so to avoid veering wildly off-remit we’ll just assume this is an amusing gaffe.

(David would also like to draw typographic attention to that inverted S on DOGS. Oops.)

Filed under: Amusing tangents, Confusing, Contributions

Infernet, surely?

Just thought I’d share this with you. I saw it on Graham ‘Father Ted’ Linehan’s Posterous.

It’s funny in itself, but also I fear I may be consigned to Circles 4 and/or 5. (Click the image to see a bigger version.)

Filed under: Amusing tangents

Let's start with this blog. The name's just not right, is it? It's much wider than sub-editing. It's just as often about words that are technically correct, but tonally all over the place. Oh well. Anyway, please feel free to send me your own examples of horrible copy (but please, no more erroneous apostrophes): mike[at]


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