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Title Image

An
American
Copywriter
in London

Mary Tyler Moore

Fitzrovia. 1991.

 

My boss at my first London job is showing me around. “Lou’s in there,” she says, pointing to double doors. I picture Lou Grant – a gruffster with a heart of gold – waiting to critique my work.

 

A bit later, I ask, “Where is the ladies’ bathroom?”

She pointedly points: “Through. Those. Doors.”

And it clicks. Loo. Not Lou. And definitely not ‘bathroom’.

 

It was my Mary Tyler Moore moment, small town girl meets big city – fortunately in Cool Britannia instead of cold Minneapolis. There were many misunderstandings and misspelled – or misspelt – words to come.

 

Happily, I’m now fully steeped in British English as a dual citizen living in Central London (and distinctly not in an expat enclave). I provide English and/or American copywriting for a range of international agencies and clients.

SEE INTERNATIONAL COPY SERVICES

AMERICAN ENGLISH V BRITISH ENGLISH

Whether your customers envisage a perfect holiday or envision a wonderful vacation, it’s important your copy chimes with them. That’s why you need a professional copywriter with deep insights into American and British English. Someone who didn’t just watch Friends (or Fawlty Towers), but has lived each language, breathed it, tasted it.

 

 

As a US and UK citizen who’s lived and worked in Soho, Southwark, Miami’s South Beach and the American South, I have a deep understanding of these (distinct) languages, to help you connect with your audience – wherever they are.

A BISCUIT BY ANY OTHER NAME…

There are hundreds of differences between British English and American English. Some are blatant, some subtle, from spellings and punctuation to distinctive vocabulary and idioms. Some differences are fun. Take the biscuit, so to speak.

 

Where I come from, biscuits are hot, salty-sweet and devilishly moreish – of course, Americans wouldn’t say moreish. Here, biscuits are NOT doused in gravy or served with bacon. I have a notorious biscuit addiction in both countries, the divine custard cream here in London. Luckily, I’m not tempted by the scone, so am spared the Cornish/Devonian cream-or-jam-first conundrum.

It’s all in the details. More subtle distinctions include v versus vs. (as seen above). Americans favour vs. (with a period – or full stop) and only shorten it to v. for legal cases, such as Roe v. Wade. And did you know that American English prefers punctuation for abbreviated titles – Ms. Jones and Dr. Simpson – while in the UK, we don’t tend to use punctuation if the final letter of the abbreviation matches the last letter of the word: Mr for Mister but Prof. for Professor.

INTERNATIONAL COPYWRITING
MIAMI TO MALLORCA TO MONTENEGRO

These days, I’m more likely to be at the National Theatre than in my native country (though I will be there in late February).

 

I’ve enjoyed over 20 years of copywriting experience, working in a range of sectors, from high-end property and hospitality to restaurants, luxury lifestyle, psychotherapy and financial services. I work directly with clients, and with branding and design agencies with international clients.

Lux Mauritius

TOV FOR INTERNATIONAL RESORT BRAND

pier 66 luxury copywriting

COPY FOR SOUTH FLORIDA RESIDENCES

COPY FOR LUXURY SWISS RESIDENCES

Luxury Copywriter International London Europe

COPY ON MONTENEGRIN TOURISM

no1grosvenor

COPY FOR PRIME LONDON DEVELOPER

marina lifestyle pier 66 copywriter

COPY FOR (U)HNWI CUSTOMERS

HAIN’T I BEEN MOMMICKED THIS DAY

The first language and dialect differences I noticed were very local. Just 11 miles from my hometown on the coast of North Carolina is ‘Down East’, my mother’s homeland, and a very different linguistic landscape. Here, the High Tider (“Hoi Toider”) brogue is a remnant of Elizabethan English.

 

In these fishing communities and barrier islands, life revolves around the water, and the isolation of waterways kept the language and accent of the early 17th-century settlers alive for longer than is usual. There was (and still is) some mistrust between Down Easters and people ‘from off’.  To my cousins there, my brothers and I were ‘city slickers’, despite our town’s population of just 5000 (admittedly more in summer). Here’s a small taste of the brogue, which has fascinated linguists and was incorporated into some ‘original pronunciation’ (OP) performances at Shakespeare’s Globe.

 

‘Mommicked’ hails from Shakespeare’s day. Then, it might have applied to something being ripped or shredded. Down East, it often refers to nerves, especially the shredding of Mamma’s by the ‘youngins’. Even my name, Miranda, was invented by Shakespeare.

LET’S TALK

 

 

Let’s meet – in person (Central London) or via Zoom, Teams or telephone.

EMAIL HELLO@MIRANDAWRITES.CO.UK

PROPERTY COPYWRITING

Still here? Have a look at my property copywriting. It’s one of my favourite sectors and a large percentage of current projects.

COPY FOR LUXURY SWISS RESIDENCES

ph-mallorca-port-andratx-519

COPY FOR VILLAS IN PORT ANDRATX

no1grosvenor

COPY FOR SUPER-PRIME PROPERTY DEVELOPER IN LONDON

p66 indigo

COPY FOR PRIME WATERFRONT RESIDENCES

Lustica Bay Botanika villa

COPY FOR PRESTIGIOUS GOLF VILLAS

Luxury property copywriting

COPY FOR KENSINGTON HIGH STREET DEVELOPER