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

News

Plain English campaign news articles

Whitewashing the real dirt with the same old smut

A current campaign from Keep Britain Tidy (KBT), called "Get behind keep Britain tidy" follows similar lines to a previous campaign from  some years ago. The current campaign uses "saucy seaside postcard humour" to highlight the increasing costs of cleaning up litter.

During that campaign we received some complaints from the public about the messages being inappropriate, particularly for an audience of young people.  A number of young people we interviewed thought the campaign was close to the bone and unnecessary but agreed it would raise a few laughs. However, they doubted that the campaign would stop people littering as it just belittled the problem rather than highlighted the serious issues of hygiene and health.

Read more: Whitewashing the real dirt with the same old smut

A plainly confusing life of letters and numbers

Algebraic calculations with their mysterious mixture of letters and numbers have been named as number one in the Top 10 of the most confusing things we might come across in our lives. Surprisingly, handling and changing foreign money made the top four, coming in behind ‘understanding the theory of relativity’, and just beating ‘the opposite sex’.

This survey of 3000 holidaymakers by onepoll.com has resulted in the leading foreign exchange specialist Travelex, creating a ‘Plain English guide to exchanging currency’. It is the first guide of this kind to receive accreditation from Plain English Campaign for the clarity of its wording, and its explanations of foreign-exchange jargon.

Read more: A plainly confusing life of letters and numbers

Plain English manifestos

Plain English Campaign calls for ‘clear and straightforward’ manifestos

Gordon Brown has announced the general election is to take place on 6 May 2010.  Plain English Campaign is pleased to know that the Prime Minister is appealing to the public for a ‘clear and straightforward mandate’.  For over 30 years Plain English Campaign has been fighting for ‘clear and straightforward’ information from Parliament and government offices.

Read more: Plain English manifestos

Labelling lunacy loose on our roads

Following complaints from drivers over the Easter break, we are highlighting the confusing and unnecessary road signs that have appeared up and down our roads and motorway.

Road users have asked us whether the increasing numbers of messages and signs are a help or a distraction. They have quoted ‘Don’t drink and drive’ messages and advice to look at websites as particularly annoying. And some visitors from abroad have struggled with phrases such as ‘adverse weather ahead’ instead of simply being told to expect rain, fog or snow.

Read more: Labelling lunacy loose on our roads

Plain English rates for mobile phone users

Plain English Campaign congratulated campaigners and welcomed the recommendation from Ofcom that mobile termination rates should be lowered. Ofcom’s proposals could see mobile termination rates gradually lowered over the next four years, from the current 4p a minute to 0.5p, providing the recommendation survives opposition during the remaining 12 months of the consultation period.

Read more: Plain English rates for mobile phone users

plain English npower bill

Which power brings crystal-clear bills?

Plain English Campaign and Which?, the consumer group, are celebrating a breakthrough in energy billing.  The first plain English npower bill has received the campaign's Crystal Mark for clarity.

Chrissie Maher OBE, founder of Plain English Campaign, says, "This positive action from one of the big six marks a silver lining for the public who have been left in the dark for too long with confusing bills.  It's bound to save time and money for everyone.  I know it would help in my choice of energy provider, if I can understand what I'm paying each quarter."

Read more: plain English npower bill

Ambient sausage rolls

Musical sausage rolls liven up a plain lunch box

Bemused members of the public have been asking us for a plain English translation for the ‘ambient sausage rolls’  sold by The Co-operative supermarket.

Chrissie Maher, OBE and founder of Plain English Campaign said, ‘These sausage rolls have escaped from the technical production lines of the food industry to bring confusion and ruin the ‘ambience’ of our lunch breaks.’

Read more: Ambient sausage rolls

Bob's your pound

When a pound is not a pound, it’s a burger

Plain English Campaign accepts that language changes to reflect the changes in our society. But that makes it even more important for businesses to get the facts right when encouraging customers to spend money.

There has been a surge of public objection about the information contained in a recent burger advertisement. The advertisement for ‘pound saver meals’ compares a £1 (one pound) to a ‘bob’ (slang for a shilling) as part of the promotion for the company’s 99 pence burger.

Read more: Bob's your pound

Copyright © 2021 Plain English Campaign. All Rights Reserved.