This week, I’m devoting my Say It For You blog posts to trivia mentioned in Albert Jack’s book, Red Herrings & White Elephants, which traces the origins of phrases we use every day. With the fall season setting in, it’s a good time to stock up provisions for the winter business blogging ahead.
Trivia of all types, I remind newbie freelance content writers, make for good “foodstuff”, and can be used in business blogs for defining basic terminology, sparking curiosity about the subject, putting modern-day practices and beliefs into perspective, and for explaining why the business owner or practitioner chooses to operate in a certain way.
Here are three more interesting “red herrings” that might come in handy for days when content writers find themselves running out of ideas for blog posts:
- A plum job – In the 1600s, the slang term for £1,000 was “plum”. Back then, of course, that was a serious amount of money and happened also to be the fixed amount of payment for certain government jobs. The average layman considered that to be a huge pay for doing very little.
What kind of business might make use of this tidbit of information? How about an employment agency? Clients of a financial advisor or of a bank might also find that piece of trivia interesting.
- As fit as a fiddle – That expression indicates a person or animal who is in good physical condition. Back in the days of medieval court, it seems, the people considered most energetic and fit were the fiddlers, who would scamper about playing their music throughout the crowds.
For what types of business might this piece of trivia add interest to the blog? A fitness facility comes to mind, as does any health-related professional practice.
- The information about the origin of “as fit as a fiddle” makes for the perfect jumping-off point for a discussion about the role physical activity plays in our health.
To sleep tight – We use this expression to connote a good night’s rest. The first beds to be mass-produced in England had straw mattresses held by criss-crossed ropes attached to the bed frames. As the ropes slackened with use, they needed to be tightened in order for the bed to remain comfortable. “Sleep tight”, therefore, meant “sleep comfortably”.
This story could make for good blog fodder for a mattress store, a bedding company, or even a sleep clinic.
Stocking up on blog triggers like these can really help blog content writers get through the winter season!