Plain English campaign news articles
Ambient sausage rolls
- Created on Tuesday, 02 February 2010 13:51
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.’
Bob's your pound
- Created on Friday, 29 January 2010 14:26
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.
Chilcott and UN1441
- Created on Friday, 29 January 2010 10:45
UN 1441 was not crystal-clear, but it should have been
Plain English Campaign was shocked to hear the frequent mention of the words ‘lack of clarity’, ‘unclear’ and ‘ambiguity’ during the Iraq war hearing. The investigatory panel and Lord Goldsmith were referring to the wording in documents, central to decisions for participation in the Iraq war.
The lack of clarity in the documents was not helped by the use of jargon like ‘automaticity’ and inappropriate use of legal terms like ‘material breach’. According to Lord Goldsmith, the ambiguous interpretations from translating the French words ‘se prononcer’, to either ‘consider’ or ‘decide’, had a major bearing on the need for a second resolution.
Maddening instruction manuals
- Created on Thursday, 28 January 2010 16:07
Great guide or maddening manual?
Did you get a lovely new electronic gadget this Christmas? Have you bought one in the January sales?
Was the manual a masterpiece of instruction or did you give up the will to live on the second page?
Parking sign sins
- Created on Monday, 14 December 2009 14:15
The English language is often misused to aid and abet all manner of deceit, dubious money-making and generally dodgy behaviour. Parking tickets can be the stuff of fury and contention at the best of times, but misleading or evasive parking signs compound an already simmering issue.
Do you have any examples of confusing, deliberately vague or rage-inducing parking signs? If so, please send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will publish the best photos.