- A document for a bricklaying NVQ (National Vocational Qualification), describing the act of laying a brick in a wall:
'to install a component into the structural fabric'.
- A mission statement by web design firm anadrom ltd (www.anadrom.net)
'Please browse the site to see our full range of services, we can remain customer focused and goal-directed, innovate and be an inside-out organization which facilitates sticky web-readiness transforming turnkey eyeballs to brand 24/365 paradigms with benchmark turnkey channels implementing viral e-services and dot-com action-items while we take that action item off-line and raise a red flag and remember touch base as you think about the red tape outside of the box and seize B2B e-tailers and re-envisioneer innovative partnerships that evolve dot-com initiatives delivering synergistic earballs to incentivize.'
(We first came across the page in February 2002 and, having guessed something may be amiss, decided to consider it for a Golden Bull award only if it was still there in November. We then unsuccessfully attempted to contact whoever was behind the site to get an explanation.
Simon Watkins, the creator of the page containing the passage, wrote to us shortly after the ceremony. He explained that the words were 'filler text' while the page was in development.
While we have a touch of sadness that such gobbledygook turned out to be too good to be true, it does say something about the state of communication today that we ever considered it plausible!
Perhaps most worryingly, Mr Watkins explained that the text was created with a 'Business Mumbo Jumbo' feature on the Macromedia Dreamweaver software he used to create the page. Our next task will be to make sure this feature comes with a safety warning similar to the one on our gobbledygook generator.
In the meantime we will consider the Golden Bull to be an honorary award for genuine business-jargon users everywhere!)
- An unnamed lawyer's suggested replacement for the word 'container' in a patent application
'a receptacle having at least one exterior surface and a plurality of walls defining a discrete object receiving volume.'
- Paragraph 59 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act (2002), Part 5
'The Scottish Ministers may by order amend subsection (1) of section 57 or paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (2) of section 58 so as to substitute for the number of years for the time being mentioned in the provision in question such other number of years (not being a number which exceeds that being mentioned in the provision as originally enacted) as may be specified in the order.'
- A proposed employment contract for management consultants Gleeds Group
'No forbearance of failure by the Employer at any time to require performance of any provision of the Agreement or to enforce strictly the obligations of the Employee or to take action to suspend the Employee or to determine the Agreement forthwith upon discovering cause therefor shall effect the right of the Employer so to do any time and no waiver by the Employer of any condition or breach of any clause whether by conduct or otherwise shall constitute a continuing or further waiver of any such condition or breach or as the breach of any other clause.'
- A letter from Halifax General Insurance Services Ltd.
'I can confirm that you have not inform us a conservatory that has never been built and that you have not been charged any extra for one built.'
- A reorganisation announcement by Marconi's EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa and Australasia) division
'The benefit of having dedicated subject matter experts who are able to evangelise the attributes and business imperatives of their products is starting to bear fruit.'
- Part of an evening student's 'Credit Record' folder from the Open College Network
'Entry Level: The acquisition of a limited range of basic skills, knowledge and understanding in highly structured and self-referenced contexts which permit the identification of progression from the learner's point of entry to the learning process.'
- A label on Waitrose mushrooms
'MUSHROOMS CULTIVATED ON SUBSTRATE FROM EXTENSIVE AGRICULTURE WHICH IS PERMITTED IN ORGANIC FARMING DURING A TRANSITIONAL PERIOD'
- A letter from Wrexham County Council
'Under Rule 312 of the Land Registration Rules 1925 every notice issued or sent by the Land Registry must fix a time within which any act or step required by such notice to be done or taken thereunder is to be done or taken, and shall state what will be the consequence of any omission to comply therewith. The notice period is therefore discretionary and fixed by the Land Registry. In this particular case the Registry have allowed for a notice period of twenty one days plus a further period of seven clear days for the delivery of the notice to ourselves which is allowed by Rule 313 of the Land Registration Rules 1925.
If no objection is received from ourselves the Land Registry will presumably proceed to register the title in the name of
If however we were to object then the Land Registry would take into consideration our objection and the reasons for that objection before deciding whether or not the registration should proceed.
The Council's position is that they have no objection to the application and presumably unless any other objections are received, the registration can proceed.'
(Council leader Shan Wilkinson bravely appeared on the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 to discuss the letter. She agreed that it was not suitable and suggested it would have been better to explain the decision in plain English before giving the legal details. She also promised to raise the issue of clear communication at the next council meeting.)