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Plain English campaign news articles

Chrissie Maher's 40 years of studying rewarded

It wasn't the first honour to be placed on Chrissie's shoulders in recognition of her lifelong fight for clearer public communications, but the Honorary Fellowship from Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) held the most poignant memories for this grandmother in her seventies.

With an illiterate childhood in an inner-city slum of post-war Liverpool, education itself was a distant dream for Chrissie.  To find herself standing beneath the great naves of Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral, with thousands of LJMU graduates also receiving acknowledgement for their years of hard work, was beyond Chrissie's wildest dreams.

Read more: Chrissie Maher's 40 years of studying rewarded

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

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