English Teacher Article Plain English

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The Plain English Campaign, who want public communication to use plain English, have announced their winners for this year and also made their selection for their 'Foot in Mouth' and 'Golden Bull' awards, for the most baffling quote by a public figure and the worst example of gobbledygook respectively.

Rhodri Morgan, the Welsh First Minister, won the 'Foot in Mouth' category for the second time for the following:

The only thing which isn't up for grabs is no change and I think it's fair to say it's all to play for, except for no change.

I can't help feeling that they've been a bit harsh on him; it is certainly is a bit clumsy, but the meaning is clear enough to me. Their choice of this particular gem from the Australian Taxations Office seems much more on the money:

For the purpose of making a declaration under this Subdivision, the Commissioner may:

a) treat a particular event that actually happened as not having happened; and
b) treat a particular event that did not actually happen as having happened and, if appropriate, treat the event as:

i) having happened at a particular time; and
ii) having involved particular action by a particular entity; and

c) treat a particular event that actually happened as:

i) having happened at a time different from the time it actually happened; or
ii) having involved particular action by a particular entity (whether or not the event actually involved any action by that entity).

I think the gist of this one is that they can do what they want when they want, and it would certainly take me a minute or two to work it out properly. However, they seem to have punished UK2Net for the wrong reasons:

YOUR EMAIL DID NOT REACH A HUMANOID. IT ONLY REACHED REPLICANT LEVEL 1. E-MAIL ARRIVING FROM HERE ARE SPOOLED FOR AUTOMATIC CHECKING AND WILL NOT BE READ BY HUMANOIDS.

I quite liked this email, but maybe they haven't seen Blade Runner. The reason I think the creator of this should be shot is for the unforgivable crime of writing in upper case.

Categories: General

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