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October 20, 2021
November 4, 2021

Just call me Tony

Tony Blair opened his first cabinet meeting with the words "Just call me Tony" and with that, chucked away centuries of British custom under which ministers always addressed one another by their titles.

Any concern that Mr Blair's relaxed personal would engender a loss of decorum was quickly dispelled. If anything, the new casual atmosphere suggested confidence and power.

And so it began.

But not in finance.

As we know, much of its tone (😂) is still stuck in a land of formality and jargon reminiscent of the language of a 60s BBC continuity announcer, as in: "We regret to inform you that the delivery will be delayed due to adverse weather conditions" as opposed to "Sorry, but the delivery will be late because of the weather."

But perhaps no more.

We’re all emerging from the last vestiges of the lockdown with a new, relaxed outlook. We’re in hoodies rather than suits and in our homes rather than our offices. And no one has batted an eyelid.

Even the Church is loosening its dog collar: St Michael’s Church in Bournemouth is changing its name to St Mike’s in an attempt to attract more youngsters to its congregation. (This is no April fool.)

Will a more conversational tone in finance follow suit? Using contractions, omitting the Oxford comma, starting a sentence with ‘And’ may hitherto have left some reaching for the smelling salts, but really, it’s no biggie.

In fact, if rather than dumbing down, it can actually make the author seem more impressive.

A survey by psychologist Daniel Oppenheimer asked participants to read samples of text including graduate school applications, sociology dissertation abstracts and translations of a work of Descartes.

Some participants read the original versions, written in a jargon-filled style, while others were given edited versions, with the complex words swapped for simpler alternatives.

The psychologist asked the participants to rate the intelligence of the authors. Those who read the simplified versions rated the author as 10% cleverer than those who read the more complex, original text.

So now it’s clear – a relaxed tone can make you more impressive, not less.

Just don’t call me Fai 😉

Simple hack

Do you hate your iPhone’s calculator because you can’t delete a number you type incorrectly? Me too. But if you swipe left or right on the sum itself, you can!

Shameless plug

I guest-posted on the Verve Group’s blog last week on the topic of client stories, via Del Boy and that infamous wine bar scene. Read here you plonker, you know it makes sense.

No time to wee

If your bladder finds the idea of a 3-hour cinema stint challenging, then worry not, as the RunPee app will notify you of the most appropriate time in your film to take a bog-break.

Animal news

Shattered phone screens could become a thing of the past. Scientists have developed a form of glass that’s 3-times stronger and fracture resistant, inspired by the humble mollusc shell.

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