Apostrophe Catastrophes – The Greengrocer’s Apostrophe and other grammar dilemmas

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ApostrophesOK, hands up if you've heard of The Greengrocer's Apostrophe. This is an apostrophe incorrectly used with an 'S' after it to form a plural of a word.  You'll see it not only in the greengrocer's shop but widely in the retail sector, online and in print advertising.  Here are some samples:
  • Potatoe's $4.00/kg, Apple's $2.95/kg  or Tomatoe's $5.95/kg (should simply be Potatoes, Apples or Tomatoes)
  • 1000's of DVD's on sale (should be 1000s of DVDs, or, even better, thousands of DVDs)
  • P's and Q's (yes, really. Ps and Qs is preferable)
  • Our Rate's are the best in town (should be Our rates are the best in town)
Apostrophe Man strikes again! An apostrophe does not a plural make in these cases. Read More

When to use “that” and “which”.

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that or which?The English language is a glorious thing, allowing us to express ourselves with passion or dispassion, with brevity or at great length. It can also be a minefield full of potential grammatical errors or confusion. For example, when do you use 'that' in a sentence, and when do you use 'which'?  Both words are pronouns used to introduce clauses in a sentence. Let's have a look at when only 'that' will do:

He picked the toy that was broken.

Dogs that bark are too noisy.

'That' introduces a 'restrictive relative clause'. Before your eyes start glazing over, this means that without this clause the sentence doesn't make sense. Think about it. "He picked the toy." Which toy? Read More

Should you use a newsletter plugin or MailChimp?

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Next time you get newsletters from fellow small business owners, scroll down to the bottom and check what software was used to develop or send them. Increasingly, you'll find they are being developed and sent using MailChimp. Until the last few years sending an email marketing campaign was costly for micro business owners. It was a tool used mainly by larger SMEs and big business. You'd pay a setup fee, a monthly fee, a fee per email...  Along came MailChimp, which offers a free service. If you have fewer than 2,000 subscribers, right now you can send up to 12,000 emails a month. With MailChimp you can select from a range of templates which can be customised fairly easily to match your corporate look. The system will even visit your website and grab your colour scheme. You can customise the code further to create a truly unique template, too. For the beginner, a few clicks will provide you with a smart-looking template which complements your website and branding. Read More

When imitation goes beyond flattery

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Imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery, according to the old adage. But when does imitation blur the line and become plagiarism? It's very tempting to copy and paste from the internet; after all the information is there and who is going to notice? People copy and paste all the time, right? Here's a quick reference to keeping out of trouble online. There's a right and wrong way to use other people's work you come across on the internet. Let's have a look at the definition of plagiarism according to, a website aimed at the education industry but relevant to all of us: Read More
AAIC 2013

Websites: Africa Australia Infrastructure Conference 2013

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We have been working with OctoberFirst Consulting for several years now, and assisted with web development, marketing and promotion for last year's inaugural Africa Australia Infrastructure Conference. Getting a new international conference off the ground is always a challenge, and the hard work paid off, with the Conference a success and plenty of interest from sponsors and speakers for this year's event. This year the website we have developed has a new face and a streamlined booking system. We are assisting with conference management too for the 2013 conference, and look foward to a lively and multicultural event.

The wisdom of Solomon – David Solomon of Quiddity Business

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Every now and then we all meet people who give us a lightbulb moment - or more than one. It could be about work, it could be about life. It could be about both. I met up with David Solomon of Quiddity Business for a chat today, and lightbulbs were flashing left, right and centre as we talked over a cup of tea. The sky may have been grey but suddenly it was a much, lighter, brighter shade. Because I love words, I was interested to know the background of Quiddity as a business name. There's a hint of 'making a quid' about it, which brought to mind the way David can show his clients ways to run a profitable business. But he explained it's actually an Old English/Medieval Latin word. Its meaning is along the lines of "the quality that makes a thing what it is; the essential nature of a thing." (This definition is from Read More
O'Connell Group

Websites: The O’Connell Group

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Graham Evans of The O'Connell Group has been our valued client for more than ten years, so it was a pleasure to revamp his website earlier this year. Visit and have a look at the slick Services page with the side tabs; a cool way to display your capabilities. We pulled newsletter feeds in from MailChimp for this site too, as well as designing headers for Graham's newsletters.

Websites: Comptel

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The Comptel team wanted a new look for their ageing website, and with WordPress they got a sleek site they can edit themselves - another tick on their wish list. Comptel works with businesses rather than individuals, and the new site better shows off their professionalism. Stock images in the slider are conceptual and fresh, and work well with the blue sky background. Additional coding from Cyrius Media. Visit this site at