This site uses session cookies. These cookies do not record any personal information.

  • Uncategorised
    Article Count:
  • Services

    We offer a number of different services to assist you in making sure that you communicate with your audience as clearly as possible.

    Our plain English editors have years of experience in transforming your documents into clear, jargon free text. (More detail on our editing services.)

    We also offer training in plain English principles, giving your staff the skills needed to produce clear, easily understood documents.

    If you have a lot of material that needs work to turn into plain English, you may be interested in our corporate membership. Corporate membership entitles you to discounts on a number of our services, as well as some free training.

    We also offer accreditation showing your customers that you have taken care to make sure that your communications are as clear and easy to understand as possible.




    Article Count:
    • Corporate membership

      Different types of membership

      Become a Plain English Campaign corporate member – decide which type of membership suits you best.

      List of benefits of membership

      • What you get as a corporate member.
      • Join our growing list of our corporate members.
      • Save huge amounts on our services, and more.

      Becoming a corporate member of Plain English Campaign is the best way of establishing your commitment to clarity. If you become a member you make a clear and substantial positive statement about your organisation.

      You can also have a look at our list of current members to find out how many worldwide organisations have already taken out corporate membership.

      Article Count:
    • Crystal Mark

      The Crystal Mark logo

      This section of the site tells you how to apply for the Crystal Mark and gives guidelines on what we look for. There is also information about the Honesty Mark, the Internet Crystal Mark, and the 'Approved by' logo. For information about the corporate membership logo and benefits, please visit the corporate membership section.

      The Crystal Mark is our seal of approval for the clarity of a document. It now appears on over 23,000 different documents in the UK and in other countries including the USA, Australia, Denmark, New Zealand and South Africa. It is the only internationally-recognised mark of its kind.

      Launched in 1990, and the first mark of its kind, the Crystal Mark is now used by over 2,000 organisations who want to provide the clearest possible information.

      You can view a list of organisations which currently have a Crystal Mark on one or more of their documents.

      There is a fee for the Crystal Mark unless you are a corporate member. The fee for the Crystal Mark is normally £500 + VAT. However, we may be able to group a number of documents together so you only pay the fee once. Or, if you only have one small document, we will reduce this fee to £150 + VAT.

      Please note: the Crystal Mark fee does not include editing fees. You can find any information you may need about these on our ‘editing services’ page.

      The Crystal Mark fee allows us to edit any subsequent minor changes to any Crystal Marked document, free of charge. This way you don't have to worry about any ongoing editing charges as you make minor alterations.

      We provide a separate Crystal Mark for each document we approve. Each Crystal Mark has its own identification number. This helps us to identify your document if we are contacted by a member of the public.

      For information about our editing services please go to the editing services section.

      Article Count:
      • Crystal Mark holders

        Below are links to lists of some of the organisations who have published Crystal Mark documents.

        We have used the following symbols on the holder lists to show how many Crystal Marks an organisation has.

        Corporate Member The organisation is a corporate member
        Platinum certificate
        The organisation has at least 100 documents with the Crystal Mark.
        Gold certificate
        The organisation has at least 50 documents with the Crystal Mark.
        Silver certificate
        The organisation has at least 25 documents with the Crystal Mark.
        Honesty Mark
        The organisation holds at least one Honesty Mark.

        Other links in this category:

        Article Count:
    • Internet Crystal Mark

      Internet Crystal Mark

      Our Internet Crystal Mark logo is the ideal way to show that you are committed to plain English throughout your site. By joining the scheme, you will prove to the public that you are willing to do everything practical to make your site crystal clear.

      Here is what the scheme offers you and your site visitors.

      • We will examine the language, accessibility, navigation, design and layout of your site.
      • You will be able to use our logo on your site, and you will be listed on Plain English Campaign's site, showing the world that you are committed to plain English.
      • If you join the scheme, you will pay £1,500 + VAT for the first year and £750 + VAT for each year after that for a large website.
      • Medium sized websites (most websites will fall into this category) will pay £750 + VAT for the first year and £350 + VAT for each year after that.
      • If you are one of our corporate members, we offer a special deal on the first (main) website that qualifies for the Internet Crystal Mark. We will waive the charge for the first year.

      If you would like to join the scheme, please e-mail us at with the address of your site, and your contact details. There is a non-refundable fee of £300 + VAT for us assessing your site and providing a report.

      You can also call us on 01663 744409 if you have any questions.

      We have Tips for clear websites, an Adobe Acrobat document (34KB) that may help if you are considering the Internet Crystal Mark.

      Other links in this category:

      Article Count:
    • Approved by

      Approved by logo

      This is our seal of approval for documents not suitable for the Crystal Mark. Eligible documents include those which are regularly issued with new or revised content such as magazines and newsletters.

      When we assess a document as part of an ‘Approved by’ accreditation, we carry out rigorous checks, like those we use with the Crystal Mark. We’re looking for clear layout and design, and audience-appropriate language.

      We ask to look at three issues before we can approve them, and we then look at each issue as it’s published. If necessary, we then give you relevant feedback.

      We charge £500 + VAT for our initial assessment. For corporate members, there’s a 50% reduction in the fee. There’s a £500 yearly charge to keep using the ‘Approved by’ logo.

      Article Count:
    • Plain English Book Mark

      For printed and online publications (usually books and manuals)

      Your book could carry the accreditation of a ‘Plain English Book Mark’. This accreditation tells the reader that the book’s clarity has been independently assessed by an expert.

      The Book Mark is our seal of approval for publications that are not suitable for our Crystal Mark. These publications include non-fiction books, training manuals or published reference materials that are either printed or available online.

      When we assess these materials, our editors carry out checks which are similar to those we do for the Crystal Mark. However, we don’t expect the copy to be written to Crystal Mark standard.

      We are looking for clear layout and design, and language that is appropriate for the intended audience.

      We will review the publication and discuss the assessment with you. We will also suggest changes you could make to qualify for the accreditation.

      There is a charge for the assessment, review and accreditation. The charge will depend on the size of the publication. We can give you an accurate estimate if you can provide a final draft, but the full accreditation could be available from just £500 + VAT.

      Final drafts or reprints which meet the assessment criteria can display the ‘Book Mark’ logo until any updates or changes are made. At this stage, you would need to make a new application.

      What we assess

      We look at:

      • the text;
      • the design and print quality; and
      • the usefulness to the intended audience.

      The text

      For example, we look at the following.

      • Sentence length
      • Paragraph construction
      • Grammar and punctuation
      • Nominalisations and passive verbs
      • The suitability of the text for the intended audience

      The design

      For example, we look at the following.

      • Typesize and typeface
      • Size of headings and subheadings – is there a clear hierarchy?
      • Use of headings – do they run into each other across articles or pages?
      • Use of white space
      • Does the design make it easy to read?
      • Overprinting
      • Use of reversed-out text
      • Pagination – does it make sense?
      • Print quality


      • What is the purpose of the book and does it achieve its aim?
      • Is the tone appropriate for the readership?
      Article Count:
    • Honesty Mark

      Every customer survey shows that one of the most important things to buyers is trust. Plain English can help give consumers an informed choice, but we need all the facts at our fingertips.

      The Honesty Mark logo

      Our solution is the Honesty Mark. This is a free logo available to any document displaying a Crystal Mark, so long as the organisation is prepared to sign our declaration. This declaration guarantees that everything in the document is true and complete. In other words, what you see is what you get.

      Other links in this category:

      Article Count:
    • Training

      In-house training

      In-house training

      Invite us into your offices to deliver a specific plain English training program – get what you need from us where you are.

      Virtual in-house courses

      Due to Covid-19 we're offering our in-house courses using Zoom or Teams.

      The workshops cost £950 + VAT for a full day and £795 + VAT for a half day.

      Virtual open courses

      Due to Covid-19 we're temporarily running our open courses online.

      These cost £200 + VAT.

      Ideal if you only have one or two people to train.

      Open course training

      Open course training

      Come to one of the courses we regularly run across the UK – learn plain English principles at a venue near you.

      Online training

      Online  training

      Learn plain English principles at your own pace and in your own time with an online course.

      Virtual Plain English Diploma Course

      Plain English Diploma

      Run completely online and available internationally.

      Earn a Plain English Diploma with a 12-month course that gives you the skills to pass on our principles.

      Plain English training kits

      Plain English training kits

      Buy a training package for up to 48 people and deliver our principles to your staff.

      These pages include links to all our courses, as well as free guides and glossaries for your use.

      Our experienced trainers have been running plain English training courses for many years, and have travelled the world to help organisations and individuals improve their communication skills. And a huge number of people continue to find our online courses very useful.

      You can find out about our next open course at a venue near you on the course dates page.

      You can download a brochure and a price list (PDF, 457KB) for all our services. These are in Adobe Acrobat (pdf) format. If you cannot view pdf files on your computer, please download Adobe Reader software.

      Article Count:
      • In-house courses available

        We run several courses – choose the one you need from the list below.

        These courses are also available as virtual in-house courses.

        Plain English in-house course

        This is the course you need if you want to learn and put into practice plain English principles where you work.

        Plain English and report writing in-house course

        Choose this course if you want to learn basic plain English principles and use them to revamp your reports.

        Plain English in-house two-day course

        A more intensive, more in-depth version of our one-day in-house course.

        Grammarcheck in-house course

        This is the course for you if you need to refresh your basic grammar skills.

        Advanced grammar in-house course

        This course is for those of you that want to turn a good grasp of grammar into an excellent one.

        Writing for websites in-house course

        Take this course if you want to improve your website. Write better web copy, make your site more accessible and avoid some common mistakes.

        Article Count:
      • Open courses available

        We are currently running online half-day plain English and 'Grammarcheck' courses via Zoom.

        Plain English open course

        Learn plain English principles and transform how you communicate.

        Grammarcheck open course

        Refresh your grammar skills.

        Advanced grammar open course

        Become a grammar expert.

        Writing for websites open course

        Transform your website. Write better web copy, improve your accessibility and avoid common mistakes.

        Article Count:
      • Online courses available

        If you want to learn the basics of writing plain English, and you prefer to work at your own pace, then one of our online courses may be suitable for you. There are six different courses to choose from.

        (Please note that the links below explain what the courses are about, as well as how to sign up for them. If you have been sent a username and password for a course, you should sign in on the course login page.)

        The following courses take between 12 and 15 hours and cost £100 plus VAT.

        Plain English letters

        Plain English reports


        Writing for websites

        The following two courses take between two and five hours to complete and cost £20 plus VAT.

        Plain English business writing

        Our Plain English design module (which is meant to complement other longer courses, usually the letters or reports courses).

        Links to all courses:-

        Article Count:
      • Plain English training kit

        The kit includes:

        • 48 workbooks;
        • a comprehensive trainer’s guide; and
        • a CD with all the PowerPoint slides you need to run the course.

        The kit costs just £695 + VAT + delivery.

        If you would like more information, phone us on 01663 744409 or email

        You can also download a printable copy of this offer here.

        We also offer a one-day 'train-the-trainer' course to train a member of your staff to deliver training courses to your staff. The cost is £995 + VAT for the first delegate and £450 + VAT for each extra delegate. This course is ideal for one or two people.

        If you need to train more staff, we have 'top-up' packs which cost £145 + VAT + delivery. The top-up packs include training materials for another 12 people. You will need these if you want to train more than 48 people because, as you will appreciate, our materials are copyrighted and must not be photocopied.

        We have sold thousands of these kits in the UK. Our training materials are also used worldwide, in places such as:

        • India
        • Israel
        • Russia
        • South Africa
        • Sweden
        • The USA

        We are world leaders in clear communication, with 30 years’ experience.
        Don’t settle for anything less.

        Article Count:
      • Courses available

        Follow the links below for more detail on our individual courses.

        Article Count:
  • About us

    Since 1979, we have been campaigning against gobbledygook, jargon and misleading public information. We have helped many government departments and other official organisations with their documents, reports and publications. We believe that everyone should have access to clear and concise information. Welcome

    The campaign officially began after founder, Chrissie Maher OBE, publicly shredded hundreds of official documents in Parliament Square, London. Entirely independent, we fund our work through our commercial services, which include editing and training. We have worked with thousands of organisations including many UK government departments, public authorities and international banks, helping them make sure their public information is as clear as possible.

    Our Crystal Mark now appears on more than 23,000 documents worldwide.

    Launched in 1990, and the first mark of its kind, the Crystal Mark is used by over 1600 organisations who want to provide the clearest possible information.

    You can view a list of organisations which currently have a Crystal Mark on one or more of their documents.

    Article Count:
    • History

      In this section of our site, you can find out more about why the campaign was started, as well as key events in the history of the campaign.

      Article Count:
      • Chrissie's story

        Chrissie Maher, founder of Plain English Campaign

        Chapter by chapter

        I have been asked a number of times over the years to write something about my life, especially the early years. Don’t ask me why, because I feel that a lot of children of my generation had a worse time of it than I did. I have now completed the first chapter, and you may wish to read it here. I would be interested in your comments good or bad, but constructive please.

        This first chapter describes memories of childhood poverty, including scavenging for food and being given cinders for Christmas. There were awful experiences at school (when I found the courage to go) and an outburst in a church. Being the family’s spokesman in a pawnbroker’s shop was another familiar scene. Oh yes, and there were the living nightmares in the local air-raid shelter.

        As the story unfolds in later chapters, I will describe how these childhood experiences led to fights about benefits claims – and, in time, the formation of Plain English Campaign.

        Chrissie Maher

        Chrissie Maher OBE

        Read chapter one

        Read chapter two

        Article Count:
  • Free guides

    Free guides

    Free guides

    We at Plain English Campaign want to help as many people as possible use plain English. For that reason, here are a series of free guides to get you started. The guides are provided in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. If you cannot read PDF files on your computer, you will need to download Adobe Reader.

    You can also download Drivel Defence, a software application which inspects webpages. All the guides below will open in a new browser window.

    We have updated most of our guides, and added a new category of plain English grammar guides (September 2009). We hope that you will find these new guides useful.

    General guides


    Special subjects

    Grammar guides

    We own the copyright to these guides. You are welcome to print out any of the guides or save them to disk for your own use. You must contact us to get our permission if you want to use any of the material in your own publications or on your website. If you wish to use the free guides internally on your company intranet, you can do this for £200.00.

    We can provide a custom-made style guide, created to meet your organisation’s specific needs, from £1000+VAT. Contact us at for more details.

    Our free guides in HTML format:-

    Article Count:
  • News

    Plain English campaign news articles

    Article Count:
  • Press office

    If you are a journalist and you have a question about the campaign, or you would like me to comment on or be interviewed about a particular subject, please contact:

    Press Office
    20 Union Road
    New Mills
    High Peak
    SK22 3ES

    Phone: 01663 744409

    We are always happy to take part in television or radio interviews, or provide a comment for a newspaper article.

    Other links in this section:

    Article Count:
    • Videos

      Videos about Plain English Campaign

      Article Count:
    • Radio articles

      Radio broadcasts about the Plain English Campaign

      Article Count:
    • Events
      Article Count:
    • Media resources

      If you are a journalist or broadcaster, you might find the links below useful for your article or programme. If you need any more information about a specific subject or about the campaign in general, please contact us on 01663 744409 or email

      Article Count:
  • Campaigning and awards

    We campaign against gobbledygook, jargon and misleading public information. In this section of our site, you can read about our awards, see examples of communication at its worst, and read about some of our past campaigns.


    Read about past winners of our yearly awards, such as our infamous and much coveted Golden Bull and Foot in Mouth awards.


    Terrible management speak, clichés, jargon and gobbledygook examples – here’s how it shouldn’t be done.


    All plain-English developments in the news.

    Press Office

    How to get in touch with us if you’re a journalist or simply have a question about plain English.

    Past campaigns

    Some of our past work in the name of clear communication, across many areas and issues.

    Article Count:
    • Examples

      We are often asked if we have any examples of communication at its worst. If you are looking for past Golden Bull winners or ridiculous 'management speak' such as 'feedforward', or you merely want to create your own phrase using our 'Gobbledygook generator', this section of the site will help you. We are always looking to add to our archives. If you come across a piece of writing that is particularly confusing, full of jargon or just plain funny, please send it in to us.

      Article Count:
    • Past campaigns

      Over the years we have worked on and improved documents from many specialist areas. This includes work carried out for councils, financial companies, government departments, health authorities, pharmaceutical companies, and many other commercial companies.

      Article Count:
      • Budget

        Following the 2007 budget, we felt that it contained words and phrases that could cause problems for many readers or listeners, and have produced a ‘plain English’ draft of the chancellor's speech.

        The Plain English Campaign calls for the government to consider producing a ‘plain English’ draft of the speech to go on the government’s website, alongside the text of the speech.

        Article Count:
      • European Union

        The European Union flag

        The European Union now affects the lives of everyone in the United Kingdom. But for many people, European politics and government are a mystery - and jargon is a major cause of this confusion.

        It's not just the man in the street who struggles with European Union documents. People who work in the Union's institutions have to deal with documents written in many different languages. The European Commission's translation department employs more translators than any other organisation in the world. If the original document is not written clearly, the translators can only make the best of a bad job.

        We want your examples of poorly written documents about European Union issues. You can e-mail us at

        Other links in this category:

        Article Count:
      • Finance


        The world of finance is necessarily awash with documents, forms and terms and conditions. We have worked with many banks, building societies and other financial organisations to improve their public information and how they present it. Some people say that it is the financial world that produces most unnecessary jargon and gobbledygook. It is certainly the industry that most affects people's everyday lives.

        Whether it is a credit-card application form, or a letter to a shareholder, all financial documents that are aimed at the general public should be as clear and accessible as they possibly can be.

        We want your examples of financial documents that are not clearly written. You can e-mail us at

        Other links in this category:

        Article Count:
      • Legal

        In 1936, Fred Rodell, a professor of law at Yale University, argued that there 'are two things wrong with almost all legal writing. One is its style. The other is its content. That, I think, about covers the ground.'

        Legal documents usually set out our rights and responsibilities. If we cannot understand the documents, we cannot exercise our rights and we cannot take responsibility.

        It is possible to use plain English in legal documents. It does not mean sacrificing accuracy for clarity. The excuse that legal writing has to be complex to avoid misinterpretations does not stand up.

        We want your examples of legal documents that are not clearly written. You can e-mail us at

        Other links in this category:

        Article Count:
      • Pensions

        If the instructions for your DVD recorder are written gobbledygook and you end up recording the wrong programme, it can be annoying. If your motor insurer speaks jargon and you misunderstand your breakdown cover, it can be expensive. And if you are baffled by your pension firm and make the wrong decision, you could face a truly miserable retirement.

        In recent years we have paid a lot of attention to the language used in pensions. In April 2006, a major change in pensions law came into effect. As many pension schemes collapsed, leaving thousands of people worried about their retirement, it was revealed that many of them had been given the wrong information.

        The Parliamentary Ombudsman published a report that suggested some of the information people had received when they joined their company's pension scheme was 'inaccurate, often incomplete, inconsistent and misleading'. The new law, which came into effect on what was dubbed 'A-day' now gives people more control over their pension planning.

        Other links in this category:

        Article Count:
    • Awards

      Each year to coincide with plain English day, we present awards for the best and worst examples of English. The main awards recognise organisations and individuals who have genuinely made an effort to present themselves using clear and concise English. The infamous 'Golden Bull' and 'Foot in Mouth' awards inject a sense of mischief into the proceedings. All the award winners can expect to receive media coverage.

      Audience at the 2007 Awards

      You can nominate your own company's documents or those of another company for the awards by sending us a hard copy by post.

      We would ask for nominations for all categories to be submitted, either by post or email, by 1 November.

      More on entry details for award nominations.

      Documents and websites that we have worked on or edited are not eligible for the awards, for obvious reasons.

      The awards are not connected in any way to our Crystal Mark scheme.

      Our awards include:

      • Covid Clarity award (for crystal-clear Covid information)
      • Foot in Mouth award (for baffling quotes by public figures)
      • Golden Bull awards (for the worst examples of written tripe)
      • Heroes and Villains (for those who have performed plain English heroics and for those that have done the opposite)
      • Media awards (radio, television and newspapers)
      • Plain English awards (open category)
      • Plain English Journalist/Writer (for the best news / information written-word communicator)
      • Web award (for clear and usable websites)
      Article Count:
      • 2021 Awards

        Once again, it’s time for our annual awards.

        It’s been another hectic, turbulent year. From our point of view, chaotic reporting of events, and beleaguered responses from those in the spotlight, has given us countless award candidates. So, it’s been especially difficult trying to decide who should come out on top (or bottom).

        That said, Dominic Raab was clearly determined to continue his long run as a Foot in Mouth nominee, despite facing some extremely strong contenders this year. Neil Oliver outdid many other nonsense-peddlers on GB News. Anne Marie-Trevelyan committed surely the richest Freudian slip of the year. And Tory MP Sir Peter Bottomley chose the day the Government cut Universal Credit to moan about his “desperately difficult” and “really grim” life on £81,932 a year. In the end, we had to honour Raab, who either didn’t bother to find out what misogyny means, or chose to misogynistically mangle the term. Whichever, a worthy winner.

        Each year, we see plenty of awful marketing spin. Back in the summer, BrewDog served up some solid-gold gubbins that the Advertising Standards Agency rightly deemed “misleading”. Nick Clegg – no stranger to slippery political manoeuvring – went on the offensive for Facebook, notorious for hosting misinformation, while promoting its replacement, Meta. GB News was a disaster – using sensationalised headlines to entice readers to click on a link to an article, image or video – from which its iconic chief presenter Andrew Neill departed in angry embarrassment.

        On a more positive note, Ros Atkins, with his invaluable and entertaining news ‘explainers’, is a worthy Chrissie Maher Award winner. Pippa Crerar’s journalism has long been an indispensable feature of both print and online news coverage. Peter Stefanovic continued to show admirable grit in relentlessly pushing uncomfortable facts while national news broadcasters looked the other way. And Victoria Macdonald was a key guide to all things Covid on Channel 4.



        Here are this year’s winners in full.

        Article Count:
      • 2020 Awards

        Here are this year's Plain English Campaign awards. It's been a year during which clear information was often hard to find. The Government did little to help us understand Covid-19, or what we were supposed to do to help to combat the pandemic. The 'Stay Alert' health information campaign was a disaster that led to inevitable confusion. Our Foot in Mouth winner epitomises dangerous ignorance where clear, cautious guidance was vitally important. Yet there were as ever many reliable sources of genuine news, and once again many heroic proponents of clear information and plain language during unprecedented times.

        Article Count:
      • 2019 Awards

        Here are this year’s Plain English Campaign Awards. As part of our 40th Anniversary celebrations and to mark our new sponsorship we’ve added some new categories. Even so, the old favourites are still present and correct. considers 2019 ‘the year of confusion’ and we can hardly disagree. Many gamely helped to make sense of an often baffling year, but some could only manage to contribute to the general bafflement.

        As usual, we’ve gathered together all our plain English heroes and villains from the last twelve months. There were political writers somehow making sense of Brexit, and politicians who made it increasingly difficult for said journalists with deceptive and confusing slogans (and outright lies). There were aghast campaigners tired of feckless public servants, and a prodigiously-dishonest and typically gaffe-prone Prime Minister (who once, we should remind you, won our acclaim for plain speaking). And while there were lone activists who somehow managed to spread a very simple, inspiring and positive message worldwide, there was also a diametrically-opposed ‘moron’ President causing worldwide anxiety with garbled tweets and general provocation. 2019 literally had everything, and we’re hoping 2020 might be a little less chaotic.

        Article Count:
      • 2018 Awards

        2018 was the usual mixed bag: much to celebrate in clear communication but plenty of individuals and organisations still in dire need of our help.

        The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges did excellent work on behalf of confused medical patients everywhere. Their ‘Please, write to me’ initiative cast an unflattering light on doctor-patient communications, and demanded improvements. Great work was also done by the likes of Shawn Burton, Charlie Corbett, Dementia UK, George Eliot Hospital Maternity Services, Nuffield Health, By Miles and regular award recipients, Independent Age.

        James O’Brien was still the best bet as a guide through the Brexit minefield, and Carole Cadwalladr exposed a few of the spin merchants responsible for hoodwinking the electorate. Plain facts might well be especially uncomfortable just now, but we need those far more than we need opinion and vested interest.

        As well as heroes, there were the usual villains.

        Elon Musk ranted his way into trouble, but at least gets the Foot in Mouth award for his baseless ‘Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it’ tweet. Musk would eventually leave his role as Tesla chairman. Alpha males don’t enjoy being denied, but staying off Twitter when you’re in a combative mood is usually a good idea.

        Dominic Raab had no idea the Dover-Calais trade route was so important and actually admitted as much just before he left his role as Brexit Minister. No more need be said.

        Northern Rail continued to fob off their customers with drivel as the standard of their services worsened. In 2018, we received more complaints about Northern Rail than any other organisation or individual, and their moves to lessen ticket and announcement jargon, while welcome, is too little, too late.

        And our Golden Bull round-up is chock-full of unreadable wibble that’s as bafflingly fun to read as it is incomprehensible.

        Article Count:
      • 2017 Awards

        Here are all this year’s Plain English Campaign Award winners.

        While 2017 was hardly a vintage year for plain English, what with ‘alternative facts’ and continuing Brexit confusion, there was still much to applaud.

        Well done to the likes of John Major, CNN, The Grammar Vigilante and Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England.

        Former PM John Major urged politicians away from ‘puerile’ slogans, a suggestion never likely to be heeded by Kick in the Pants recipients Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway. CNN continued to provide ‘real news’ despite the President’s continuing attacks. The Grammar Vigilante made daring corrective after-hours raids on badly-written shop signs. And Anne Longfield cleared the way for parents, as well as children, to understand Facebook’s terms and conditions.

        Elsewhere, Jacob Rees-Mogg, in describing food banks as ‘rather uplifting’, struck a late blow to perennial Foot in Mouth Award contenders Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, and is this year’s worthy winner.

        And Gordon Strachan’s ‘genetics’ rant was nonsensical enough to prompt our new ‘Football Guff’ award.

        To find out more, please have a look on our individual award pages, and on our Facebook and Twitter pages, for more awards information and stories.

        Article Count:
      • 2016 Awards

        We’re delighted to once again recognise the best of those keeping to our plain English principles. And we’ve got our usual round-up of rogues doing quite the opposite.

        Well done to the likes of Bank of Ireland, Chatham House, Mr Justice Peter Jackson and SSE. And thank you to Boris Johnson for making the Foot in Mouth award such an easy pick once again.

        Bank of Ireland have done more to communicate in plain English with their customers than any other bank and deserve recognition. Mr Jackson’s plain English court summary was a great improvisation of a very emotive and difficult court case, and we were delighted to give him an award for his excellent work.

        Boris Johnson’s second Foot in Mouth award was inevitable, despite fierce competition from last year’s gaffe-happy winner and new US President Donald Trump, and Sarah Palin, Jackie Walker and David Hoare. In any other year Trump’s endless stream of disingenuous gibberish, Palin’s ‘squirmishes’ or Hoare’s comments about the Isle of Wight that got him the sack might easily have won. But Boris’s pledge to make Brexit a ‘Titanic success’ was unsinkable.

        We also gave Tony Blair a long overdue Kick in the Pants, unlike a more restrained Sir John Chilcot. Chilcot’s verdict confirmed that Blair’s ‘certainty’ about Iraq’s capabilities was ‘not justified’ but didn’t really put the boot in. We were delighted to oblige.

        Please have a look on our individual award pages, and on our Facebook and Twitter pages, for more awards information and stories.

        Article Count:
      • 2015 Awards

        It’s Plain English Day 2015 – as good a day as any on which to announce our 2015 award winners.

        This year, Donald Trump easily wins a Foot in Mouth Award, and there are some truly awful examples of Golden Bull to consider.

        As well as our ‘bad’ awards, we also take the opportunity to praise the likes of Richard Denniss, RightsInfo, Lucy Kellaway and our youngest ever award recipient, Ammarah Mahmood.

        In giving the Chrissie Maher Award to Ammarah, we hope to encourage young people everywhere to develop good habits early. As part of future award ceremonies, we will look to reward similar projects, such as the one carried out by Ammarah’s school. We hope many other schools follow Swain House Primary in Bradford, and we look forward to recognising them each year.

        Please have a look on our individual award pages, and on our Facebook and Twitter pages, for more awards information and stories.

        Here’s a recording of Steve Jenner talking to Radio Derby’s Ian Skye about this year’s awards.

        Article Count:
      • 2014 Awards

        Plain English Campaign announced the results of its 2014 awards on Wednesday 3 December. As ever there were great examples of nonsense and clarity among the winners.

        We’ve had some memorable Foot in Mouth winners over the past 35 years: John Prescott, Mitt Romney and George Bush among the best. We could easily have devoted dozens of pages to this year’s winner, who provided a seemingly endless stream of gibberish, both written and verbal.

        Our Golden Bull winners, too, were of a typically high standard. We’ve once more carefully selected the worst of the year’s written tripe. This is never an easy task. But, after sifting through countless examples of dire communication, we have settled on a select awful few.

        And, as ever, we’re delighted to offer credit where it’s due. We rightly take the time to salute those doing great things for clearer communication. Those individuals, groups and organisations that stood out for their plain English work in 2014 deserve special recognition. To everyone keeping to and furthering our principles – not just our award winners – your efforts are appreciated.

        Article Count:
      • 2013 Awards

        Plain English Campaign announced the results of its 2013 awards on Wednesday, 4 December – and as ever there were great examples of nonsense among the winners.

        Over the years, we’ve had plenty of fun giving the likes of John Prescott, Mitt Romney and George Bush a bit of unfortunate attention with our Foot in Mouth Award. We’ve also enjoyed rounding up the worst of legalese, jargon and gobbledygook with our Golden Bulls.

        We’ve also been more than happy to offer credit where it’s due, and provide a bit of well-earned attention for those doing great work in the name of plain English, be they individuals, groups or organisations. There were many fine examples to join those past winners among 2013’s list of recipients.

        Article Count:
      • 2012 Awards

        The 2012 Plain English Campaign annual awards were revealed on 10 December.

        There was no official ceremony this year in keeping with austere times: instead we released news of winners through newspapers, radio and on our website. We plan to hold a special ceremony to mark our 35th anniversary, and will reveal more on this in due course.

        We recognised those we considered plain English heroes with our choices of the best in media alongside awards such as the Chrissie Maher award, Pat on the back, Osborne Memorial award and Plain English communicators. We also elected many others into our hall of shame with our Golden Bull, Kick in the pants and Foot in Mouth award.

        Listen to the awards podcast


        You can download a copy of the 2012 awards press release here. (PDF, 68 KB)


        Press articles about the awards:

        Article Count:
      • 2011 Awards

        The Plain English Campaign annual awards for 2011 was held on Friday 9 December.

        The campaign has been fighting jargon and gobbledygook for 32 years and 2011 brings the 32nd awards ceremony. Traditionally this has been held in London but this year, Liverpool, the Campaign’s birthplace, hosted our event. And we were lucky enough to hold it in the famous Cavern Club.

        The awards ceremony dipped into the world of creative gobbledygook using the worlds of music and art to highlight the need to get the message across clearly, whatever form of communication is used.

         You can use the links below to see the winners of awards in the following categories.

        Article Count:
      • 2010 awards
        Article Count:
      • About the awards
        Article Count:
      • 2009 awards
        Article Count:
      • 2008 awards
        Article Count:
      • 2007 awards
        Article Count:
      • 2006 awards
        Article Count:
      • 2005 awards
        Article Count:
      • 2004 awards
        Article Count:
      • 2003 awards
        Article Count:
      • 2002 awards
        Article Count:
      • 2001 awards
        Article Count:
      • 2000 awards
        Article Count:
      • 1999 awards
        Article Count:
      • 1998 awards
        Article Count:
      • 1997 awards
        Article Count:
      • 1996 awards
        Article Count:
      • 1995 awards
        Article Count:
      • 1994 awards
        Article Count:
      • 1993 awards
        Article Count:
      • 1991 awards
        Article Count:
      • 1992 awards
        Article Count:
Copyright © 2022 Plain English Campaign. All Rights Reserved.