Message from Marie Clair, press officer at Plain English Campaign.
Thank you to everyone who has contacted the office to let us know, or complain about, the grammatical errors in my recent quotes published online and in the press this week. The quotes related to the school teacher whose unfortunate, and numerous, email errors were sent to me for comment by a news agency.
The teacher's email is a reminder to us that communications made in a hurry can contain mistakes. In many jobs where communication is a major part of the job, deadlines and a heavy workload can leave little time for preparation and proof-reading.
The printed errors of my quote are a reminder that verbal information is more likely to be misinterpreted. The spoken word doesn't have punctuation, good spelling and proper grammar to accurately communicate meaning.
We all make mistakes, but we have a responsibility to communicate clearly, by using a spell-checker before we send our emails, or by providing only written comments to the press.
It's reassuring to know that there are people who care about using the English language properly. I will 'try harder', as my old school reports often suggested. I hope I don't make as many mistakes in one email as the now infamous teacher, but if we set ourselves as examples then we must accept any justified criticism with good grace and learn from it.
Please carry-on complaining to all those that use jargon and poor communications, including me.
Everyone has a right to crystal-clear information that they can understand first time round.
Below are links to some of the press coverage of the teacher's email:-