News

Plain English campaign news articles

Who has the right to write the rites, Dr Wright or Dr Smith?

Plain English Campaign has today condemned comments made by a senior university lecturer that bad spelling in student essays should be accepted. Founder Chrissie Maher OBE, described Dr Ken Smith’s article in the Times Higher Education magazine as ‘madness’.

Commenting from the campaign’s headquarters in Derbyshire, Chrissie said “It sickens me to consider we would allow anyone the liberty to destroy our heritage just because they are fed up with seeing it misused. Instead do something about it, deal with the real problem, stop the rot! Put it right from the start. How can we expect children to learn basic spelling and grammar if senior educationalists are saying it doesn’t matter? It’s absolute madness.”

Dr Smith, a lecturer in criminology at Buckinghamshire New University, suggested that students and lecturers should be ‘given a break’ and allow misspellings of words such as ‘judgment’, ‘twelfth’, and ‘embarrassed’.

Plain English Campaign, which fights for clear communication in all public documents, recently criticised the news that spelling mistakes and grammatical errors were resulting in higher marks in Standard Assessment Tests (SATs).

Tesco's checkout signs

Over the last few days there has been a lot of press coverage about Tesco's new checkout signs. Some of this coverage suggested that the retailer chose the wording of their new signs based on our recommendation. However, this is not the case.

Read more: Tesco's checkout signs

Wells blasted by supporters of good spelling

Chrissie Maher OBE, founder of Plain English Campaign has come out with all guns blazing at the Spelling Society, following comments made by its president John Wells. On Tuesday he said that the ‘apostrophe is a waste of time’, and that there are more important things to do than worry about correct spelling.

Read more: Wells blasted by supporters of good spelling

Send us your small print

Plain English Campaign is supporting the Small Print Bill being processed through Parliament by Nick Palmer MP who is calling for 'a minimum font size in certain documents, including those relating to advertising and contracts; and for connected purposes'. Our exhibition will take place at the Jubilee Room at Westminster on 17 November between 2pm and 6pm and will be attended by MPs and invited industry leaders who have an interest in promoting clear communications.

Read more: Send us your small print

Plain English Campaign awards for MPs

We invite all MPs and their staff to send us their nominations for the best (clearest) and worst (most ridden with gobbledygook) documents that they have seen this year in Parliament. A shortlist of nominations will be announced on Monday 17 November, in the Jubilee Room, Westminster, and the authors of the winning documents will be presented with an award at the Plain English Awards on Tuesday 9 December.

Read more: Plain English Campaign awards for MPs

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