Character Coding UTF-8 For Your Browser

Character Coding UTF-8 For Your Browser

You have seen some strange non-English characters here and there that come out looking like scrambled eggs on your browser? That’s probably because your browser is trying to read Russian (“русский”) or Japanese (“日本語”) or Chinese (“中國”) or Arabic (“العربية”) or Thai (“ภาษาไทย”) or whatever language with an ASCII English-only character code. I know, that’s Greek (“Ελληνική”) to you, right? Well, there is a way out that is not very strenuous.

For Firefox since at least version 11:

  1. Click on the dropdown main menu item “View” and choose…
  2. “Character coding” or something similar (it is the 5th item down in the dropdown list)
  3. and then select “Unicode” which is the first one below “automatic”
  4. and you are finished!

For Internet Explorer since at least version 9:

  1. On the top line of instructions, click on “View”
  2. Then move your cursor down the drop-down menu to “Encoding” (this is the 8th item down the list)
  3. Go down to the 3rd item “Unicode (UTF-8)” and click on it. Repeat the exercise if the line “left-to-right document” is not already checked
  4. … and you’re done!

If you use Chrome or Safari or Tor or something else, the procedure should be roughly the same.

Now you will be able to see all the characters for all the European languages plus all the others that are covered by UTF-8 (includes specifically all Latin-character, Greek-character, and Cyrillic-character languages). You can find more information at Wikipedia if you need any help at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UTF-8 or in an appropriate language if English does not help you.

The original version was published on 24 April 2012 on LMDY.CH.

Copy Writing Logic

Copy Writing Logic – Why You Need To Use Logical Reasoning In Your Copy

The Logical Process

Logical reasoning needs to be an important part of your copywriting product. The reason is simple to understand for a technical reader: when you write logically, then the content is simpler to understand for your reader. Example: 1 leads to 2, 2 leads to 3, 3 leads to 4, so – in a compact form – 1 ultimately leads to 4.

How can you organise your content logically? Well, I have to assume that if you are writing technical copy, you have to have a technical understanding of your subject matter, and that you have a goal in the content you are creating. Most technical articles have a common theme that is

  1. Describe the problem or goal
  2. Discuss the alternative solutions
  3. Sum up the plusses and minuses of each potential solution, and select the optium solution

Don’t forget to use actual (and current) technical information to support your discussions; this is a critical mistake that some authors make. Think of it this way – you are proposing a solution to a problem that must function, and it must be based on realisable premises. It is senseless to propose building a factory to produce copper on Mars if you can not provide a reasonable method to transport the copper to the potential users.

This is – in theory – child’s play, but there are usually complications that make the whole exercise more interesting. For example, what otherwise would be an optimum solution may not be feasible for non-technical reasons (community opinion or acceptance, cost, availability of resources – material and human, etc.). The clue here is to go about your “business” in a logical manner, discuss the constraints and restraints as well as the benefits, and make a logical selection that your logic train can support.

Another Direction

There are other types of content to consider, such as discussions of current results in research and development. Here, it is more logical to make your copy rich in actual results from the “owner” of the idea, as much as possible. Sometimes this is relatively easy, if the owner has published information in, for example, technical writings or patent applications. But you need to be careful here, there are some limits in what the idea’s owner will publish, and the limits often fall somewhere between incomplete and misleading. This is a natural urge to cover the critical parts of the owner’s work so that others can not steal the idea, and possibly come to market faster and with improvements on the original idea. On the other hand, the owner may also be willing to dicuss the concepts involved with you in exchange for certain inclusions in your content. This can be a positive development for both parties – the owner gets more publicity, and the copywriter gets better information.

Writing Style

Even articles that are based on strong content and logic are more widely read if they are entertaining as well as technically correct. That makes it important to use a writing style that is both clear enough to be technically understandable, and at the same time friendly and open. You need to remember this: on the websites where your work may be published, if the readers get bored or confused, they will leave. Once they are gone, it is very unlikely you will get them back again. One thing that helps retain readers is images. If there are accurate and applicable images, use them liberally in your content.

If you have questions or comments, please feel free to write a comment to this article. I welcome your input!

Jimmy Craig Hesser
for
Copywriting for Websites dot NET or COM

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