The Plain English Campaign is a group that has been fighting for crystal-clear communication since 1979. Consider some of these examples that made Guy and Will smile:
Take off lid and
push up bottom. [From a stick deodorant label]
These guidelines are written in a matter-of-fact
style that eschews jargon, the obscure and the insular. They are intended for use by the novice and the experienced alike. [From the United Kingdom Evaluation Society 'Guidelines for good practice in
Thought grenade [Management jargon as found in Office Angels survey - means 'explosive, good ideas']
This is a genuine ground floor opportunity to shape a front line field force operating in a matrix structure. [As stated on the 'Take a Fresh Look at Wales' website]
The delay to this service is
due to low adhesive conditions. [Otherwise known as 'slippery tracks', from First Scotrail]
The cause of the fire was due to a malicious ignition incident that was fortunately contained to the function and
meeting room area of the hotel. [News statement about a fire at a hotel]
Its clear lines and minimalist design provide it with an unmistakable look. It is daring, and different. So that your writing
instrument not only carries your message, but lives it. [Promotional literature for ... pens]
Where the policy is divided into a number of distinct arrangements ('Arrangements') where benefits are capable
of being taken from on Arrangement or group of Arrangements separately from other Arrangements, then this policy amendment will not apply to any Arrangements in respect of which the relevant policy proceeds
have already been applied to provide benefits. The policy amendment will apply to all other Arrangements under the policy. [Policy amendment, Norwich Union]
Steve McClaren has won a prize - for speaking nonsense. The former England manager scooped the Plain English Campaign's Foot in Mouth award for a comment about Wayne Rooney, the Manchester United and England
'He is inexperienced, but he's experienced in terms of what he's been through,' McCLaren said.
Will and Guy muse on football manager speak in general, and it's affect on England's failure
to qualify for Euro 2008 in particular. Do the players understand their manager's jargon - but ignore it. Or do they understand what he is saying, but are unable to act on the instructions.
Then there's the interpretation favoured by the fans, the manager does not know what he is talking about. See more football speak
Then there is the 'Leaves on the track' cause célèbre
Other culprits singled out by the campaign, which works to stamp out unclear official information,
included Translink in Northern Ireland.
Apologising for recent delays, it said, 'Every autumn a combination of leaves on the line, atmospheric conditions and prevailing damp conditions lead to a low adhesion
between the rail head and the wheel which causes services to be delayed or even cancelled.'
The company added that it was committed to reducing delays by 'implementing a comprehensive low adhesion action
BAA [British Airports Authority] also received a Golden Bull award for its 'passenger shoe
repatriation area' sign, found at London Gatwick airport in the place where shoes are security screened.
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