This weekend the clocks go forward.

The language at this time is interesting.

Which camp are you in?

‘Lost an hour’?




‘Gained light nights’?

Of course, I’m a light nights fan.


I love playing with language.

One of my favourites is to observe someone searching for something, rather than asking, ‘What have you lost?’ Instead say, ‘What are you finding?’


One word can make a difference.

Instead of asking a customer, ‘Is there anything else I can help you with?’ Which is nice…

Change it to, ‘Is there something else I can help you with?’ You’ll receive a better response.


And one more.

If you believe you’ve lost an hour and you’re feeling it, change ‘I’m tired’ to ‘I could do with more energy.’

I promise you’ll feel more energetic in minutes.


What’s your favourite language switch?

We’ll send a copy of my Sunday Times No 1 Bestseller, Flip It – how to get the best out of everything, to our favourite.

Please let me know your thoughts below.

Be Brilliant!


  1. March 23rd 2023 by Tricia Frances deGray

    I look forward to the clocks changing for the summer. I have a sight problem which affects me driving at night so I become a hermit in the winter! I used to say ‘I cant drive at night’. I now say ‘I can get a taxi!’

  2. March 23rd 2023 by Linda Rainbird

    My favourite switch is problem to challenge, problems sound disheartening but we can all rise to a challenge!

  3. March 23rd 2023 by Katrina Reilly

    As a teacher I was always told to tell pupils what you want them to do rather than what you don’t want them to do. So instead of “Don’t run in the corridor!” say “Walk in the corridor please.” Instead of “Stop shouting!” say “Quiet voices please.”

  4. March 23rd 2023 by Sarah Watts

    I love changing should to could – it takes the pressure off and opens up so many more possibilities

  5. March 23rd 2023 by Susan Grant

    Language switch from I don’t feel well to I’ve felt better.

  6. March 23rd 2023 by Sharon Lloyd

    My son would leave the house and within minutes would be back instead of saying what have you forgotten I would say what have you remembered

  7. March 23rd 2023 by Judith (Judy) Brulo

    Time change: I guess you could put it down to Yin Yang, maybe? Everything balances out in the end, hopefully.

  8. March 23rd 2023 by John

    I avoid the word “Try” or Trying”. “I am writing a book” rather than I am trying to write a book”.

  9. March 23rd 2023 by Peter Williamson

    Instead of “I can’t find it” – “I haven’t found it yet”

  10. March 23rd 2023 by Jane Parsons

    I try to say “remember to” rather than “don’t forget to”. It sounds kinder and more positive, especially when “please” is added.

  11. March 23rd 2023 by Kaye Patten

    My favourite flip it with language is ‘ don’t say cancel a meeting instead say can we re-schedule?’

  12. March 23rd 2023 by Judith Lisgarten

    It’s twice that my birthday has been shortened by an hour !
    Not happy !!!

  13. March 23rd 2023 by Sue Trusler

    Gained light nights is good for me, more natural light to paint. I flipped my book title from ” It’s Never Too Late To Start Art” to a much more positive “Time to Start Your Art” The use of language is so important to bring out the best possible outcome from any situation.

  14. March 23rd 2023 by Rebecca

    On Monys I say ‘I get to go to work’, rather than ‘I have to…’ Lots of people want a job but cant get one. Im lucky enough to have a job, that i enjoy too.

  15. March 23rd 2023 by Joanne

    I am also a fan of “I get to” rather than “I have to” – I’m a teacher and I love it, so often those things “I get to do” are really important, if not as much fun as being in the classroom!

  16. March 23rd 2023 by Wendy

    Instead of asking, ‘How are you coping?’, I think a better question is, ‘How are you managing?’ The difference just between those two words. (The first one is heard a lot just at the moment)… or even just, ‘How are you/how’s it going?’

  17. March 24th 2023 by Jessy Plante

    When unsure about someones mood I prefer to ask them “why are you happy?” Than “why are you upset”

    Regardless of their mood, they’ll find something to answer with but they’ll feel happier if they think of something positive

  18. March 24th 2023 by Jackie O'Neill

    One major switch I am conscious of having made recently with my teens is, instead of asking, when they come home, “Have you had a good day?”, I say, ”How did it go?” Or “How was your day so far?” That way, there’s less pressure – they don’t feel it always has to go well (and it frequently doesn’t!) – and there’s always room for a positive spin later on, in case it didn’t!

  19. March 24th 2023 by AnnA Rushton

    Always switch ‘should’ for could – one is judgemental the other full of possibility.

  20. March 24th 2023 by Averil Price

    Taken a wrong turn to off on an adventure

  21. March 24th 2023 by Lorna Clark

    Instead of saying ‘I’ll try to do it’, say ‘I will do it’

  22. March 25th 2023 by Kathy

    Thank you!
    I do struggle with that ” lost hour” but look forward to lighter evenings.
    I will need more energy.
    Thanks again!

  23. March 27th 2023 by Isabel

    The clocks going forward is a time to welcome the Summer even though the weather may still feel wintry (-4°C today!).

    One of my biggest switches was from saying “I have to do do ” to “I get to do” eg I have to do the shopping becomes I get to do the shopping. Then I add “I am grateful I get to do the shopping”.

  24. March 29th 2023 by Phil Race

    Hi Michael, in sales there is a phrase about ‘dead cow’ words… a waiter at table doesn’t offer a slice of dead cow dripping in blood, no they offer with a flourish a succulent juicy steak cooked to perfection.

add comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *