Tips for Tigers

Tiger economy, tiger in your tank, or Year of the Tiger?


Happy New Year! As 2022 warms its feet, the Year of the Tiger is already roaring into view!

We love tigers – and so does the English language! Tiger economies; a tiger in your tank; easy, tiger! A tiger doesn’t change its stripes, and for fans of 1980s rock classics, there’s that old favourite, the eye of the tiger.

But my personal favourite after so many years in Asia: a paper tiger (to say somebody or something is a paper tiger means that they are fierce, dangerous, or impressive in appearance only – they have no real substance).

So why do I like paper tigers? One of my favourite haunts in Hong Kong was not what you might expect. It was beneath an uninviting, fume-filled road bridge in Causeway Bay. Sitting on plastic stools, surrounded by passing trucks, red taxis, big yellow buses, and overladen bicycles, was a cluster of old women, each with a shoe in her hand, whacking the life out of a coloured paper tiger on the ground. To the newcomer from out of town, this was a baffling ritual, but after living in Hong Kong for a while, it made perfect sense.

You’ve had a run of bad luck? Things not going your way? Business ventures keep failing? It’s quite possible someone has put a spell on you – and you can probably guess who it is. Fortunately, there’s a solution: you go along to these ladies, pay them a small fee, tell them who has cursed you, and give them your shoe. The paper tiger represents your bad luck, and your shoe represents – well, your shoe, and you taking control of your luck.

Like those ladies in Causeway Bay, we can help you take back control!

Here are three top editing tips for the Year of the Tiger:

Turn it into a PDF

Don’t ask us why it works, but it does: typos, weird spacing, and double words poke you in the eye from a PDF, when they stay hidden in a Word doc.

What, who, when

All too often, we start dashing out the words, and forget to say WHAT happened, WHO did it (to WHOM), and WHEN it happened. Answer those questions first, then add the supporting details.

Read it out loud

It might look fine, but try reading it out loud: there’s no better sense-check!