News

Plain English campaign news articles

Poor form

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.

Read more: Poor form

Blank checks

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?

Read more: Blank checks

Clear manifestos

With just under 100 days until the general election, we’ve asked all major parties for a clear version of their manifesto.

We know that a large number of people will struggle to read the full-length version. There is no good reason why the parties can’t provide an easy-to-understand, point-by-point summary of their key principles.

Read more: Clear manifestos

Down with the kids

The English Spelling Society (TESS) is up to no good once again with a new scheme. The scheme is aimed at making life easier for children in tests by allowing sentences such as 'my frend has a coff'.

TESS wants to 'open minds to the possibility of an eventual update of English spelling in the interests of improved literacy'. Or, put another way, 'English language should change to a phonetic version so people don't have to bother to learn it'.

Read more: Down with the kids

More council jargon

Dundee City Council is under fire for writing an 'obscure' letter to parents that's 'a real challenge to read'.

The letter, written by council Education Director Michael Wood, achieves an online readability score of 28.2. Or in other words, it's as difficult to read as the Harvard Law Review. It uses words such as 'redilineation' and contains a paragraph which is over 80 words long.

Read more: More council jargon

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