Apostrophes are in the news again
Cambridge City Council recently reversed its decision to do away with apostrophes on all street signs. Local residents had taken to adding them with marker pens, and the story became much bigger (and much more embarrassing) than expected. So apostrophes made a welcome comeback.
The push for plain language
We're naturally keen to promote the widespread use of plain English. But that's not where our interest in clear communication ends. We also understand the vital need for plain language worldwide.
While that can often involve using plain English, communicating clearly in a variety of languages is something we've always been keen to help to establish.
Do you have any examples of clichéd speech or writing you can share with us? We'd love to see them. A few years ago we ran a poll to find the nation's least favourite clichés. We want to see what clichés infuriate most in 2015.
Do you have any examples of management speak you can share with us? We'd love to see them. We want to create an up-to-date list of the absolute worst management speak.
We're regularly sent terrible examples of such speech or written communication, and celebrate the worst of it each year. However, the constantly replenished stream of business gibberish demands an up-to-date list (which we will update regularly) of the worst terms.
Foot in Mouth awards
Each year we celebrate the worst gaffe by a public figure with our 'Foot in Mouth' award.
And, we have always managed to find a worthy winner. Last year, Russell Brand couldn't be overlooked. The year before, Mitt Romney could've won for any one of a dozen howlers. Looking further back, the likes of John Prescott, George Bush and Silvio Berlusconi have pretty much selected themselves.
Last year we received numerous Golden Bull entries regarding overlong or badly written (or both) planning consultation forms.
2015 will probably be no different. A Thanet resident has sent in a complaint about a 263-page planning consultation document which is 'very hard to understand'. There's also a questionnaire, which runs to 99 pages.
Open course special offer
Grammarcheck (Wednesday 18 March 2015 in London)
Plain English (Thursday 19 March 2015 in London)
Plain English (Wednesday 25 March 2015 in Edinburgh)
£50 off each course place booked.
Just send an email to us at email@example.com and ask for a special offer booking form, or 'phone Terri on 01663 744409.
We're all familiar with online prompts asking us to tick 'Yes' or 'No' boxes. Do we want someone to send us emails about products? Do we want to receive a monthly newsletter? We may need to click on a 'Yes' or 'No' box.
The answer, in any case, is normally 'No'. And we're normally in a hurry to get on with it and get rid of these irritating obstacles, which may mean us quickly making a decision and moving on. But what if you have to remove your agreement before you have even given it?