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Plain English campaign news articles

Mists of management-speak

The fog of jargon and management-speak has left many of us wandering clueless. The now sadly familiar word, 'redundancy', used for losing a job, is cushioned with ever more obscure words such as, 'displaced', a term originally used to refer to refugees. One employee was told that their job was to be 'offshored', although it is doubtful that this referred to working from an exotic island office. And the latest cloak for bad news refers to redundancies as 'transitioning out of the business'. Naturally, no-one likes to be the bearer of bad news, but this lack of clarity can raise suspicion about the true message.

Plain English Campaign have previously criticised the 'ploddledygook' found in communications from the police. But a recent joint news release from Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire police forces, is a damning example of the serious danger of words that can hide the true meaning.

Read more: Mists of management-speak

Award winners receive industry recognition

In 2009, Plain English Campaign launched a new awards category that would look at the clarity of the spoken word.

We feel that the campaign's fight for clear communications should relate to all channels for sending and receiving information. Books, newspapers and other printed documents will probably never disappear, but people now have to cope with even more information than ever. And sometimes information created for one communication channel does not work as well in another without being completely rewritten or redesigned.

This makes plain English a clear choice for whatever way you choose to communicate. And to prove it works, we are proud to announce that the winners of our 2009 Plain English Communicator award, Ashbourne Radio, have now been awarded (with High Peak Radio) further recognition for their clear presentation style.

Read more: Award winners receive industry recognition

Foreign Office plainly rumbled

At last year's Plain English Campaign awards, a Golden Bull was awarded to the Foreign Commonwealth Office for a jargon-filled job description. The FCO graciously acknowledged that plain English was a better way to communicate and even produced their plain English translation of the original text, which can be seen on our Golden Bull 2010 winners page.

Below is their reply:

"The Foreign and Commonwealth Office attaches importance to clear communication, particularly with the British public.

This document, although for internal use with a specialist audience, did not meet these standards. Like the many other organisations who have received "Golden Bull" awards in the past, we accept it in the spirit in which it was intended - an encouragement to us to do better.

We would be grateful if you would publish this response and the translation below.

Read more: Foreign Office plainly rumbled

Plain power on television

The current television advertisement from energy suppliers, npower, shows a clear commitment to their Plain English Campaign corporate membership.
Promoting their latest Crystal Mark for clearer bills, the new campaign responds to the consumers' call for clearer bills.

You can see npower's press release below:

Read more: Plain power on television

Communication at odds with costs

This morning our press officer, Marie Clair, was asked by BBC Essex radio to comment on the article about a charity, Disability Essex, that has terminated its contract with a government department because of the resources involved in submitting 4,500 pages of information as part of the monitoring process required by the government contractor.

http://thirdsector.co.uk/news/Article/1048205/enemy-red-tape/

Our Government have set up the Big Society Deregulation Taskforce (BSDT) in a positive effort to investigate unnecessary bureaucracy. Plain English Campaign are willing to help by offering our services based on our past experience during the Rayner Review of 1983, that worked successfully to reduce unnecessary paperwork in government.

Read more: Communication at odds with costs

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