matter how wonderful the technology, people are still writing rubbish.
Featured below are some of the recent winners of the Plain English Campaign's
awards for those who just seem to have a way with words!
This Outline Regional Information Strategy is an interim report. In a
sense, an Information Strategy can never be definitive. To talk about
information is to talk about objectives. A lot of thought is now being
applied throughout the NHS to mission statements and objectives, from
which we should obtain a clearer view of our information needs. However,
objectives will never stand still, and therefore an Information Strategy
will of necessity be a continuously developing concept. The process of
clarification will be incremental, and the concept of a definitive strategy
will remain illusory.
from local authority explaining pension entitlement
to your recent enquiry regarding your entitlement to retirement benefits
if you were to be retired under the Voluntary Redundancy Scheme; when
the added years awarded to you under the Scheme exceed 6.2/3rd years,
there is a reduction of an amount equal to 30% of your redundancy payment
in respect of each year (and part year) of service in excess of this.
This amount is deducted from your additional lump sum, but if the said
amount is greater than the additional lump sum, the outstanding balance
is capitalised and deducted from the additional pension. When the added
years awarded are 6 years 243 days or less there is no reduction in your
to customer who thought he had bought a new machine.
You are correct that the photocopier had been previously supplied to another
customer in 1996. This machine was returned and was remanufactured at
our Remanufacturing Facility prior to being supplied to you. At the time
of supply it was a current model in the manufacturer's range and so within
the terms of the agreement it was not remanufactured.
from member of the public to a local authority legal department
I cannot fetter the exercise of my discretion by determining in advance
of the exercise of such discretion how I might exercise that discretion.
of National Statistics letter
As I am sure you are aware, ONS has to maintain the confidence of the
public in order to be able to conduct the decennial census. Very detailed
statistics are produced and in order to prevent inadvertent disclosure
of an individual or household, the counts are modified (blurred) using
a statistical modification procedure at ED level (Enumeration District).
This modification involves the addition of +1, 0 or -1 in a quasi-random
pattern and in some instances are double blurred. Therefore when tables
are produced where the ED counts have been modified and then aggregated
up to form other areas such as the Local Council Areas, these counts will
differ from an aggregate of unmodified counts? I trust that the above
now provides you with a satisfactory explanation.
Your accountant is correct in his advice to you as in accordance with
the Legislation contained at Section 134 Income & Corporation Taxes
Acts 1988 it is directed that where an individual (the worker) renders
or is under an obligation to render personal services to another person
(the client) and is subject to or to the right of supervision, direction
or control as to the manner in which he renders those services; and the
worker is supplied to the client by or through a third person (the agency)
and renders or is under an obligation to render those services under the
terms of the contract between the worker and the agency and remuneration
receivable under or in consequence of the contract would not, apart from
Section 134 be chargeable to income tax under Schedule E then for all
the purposes of the Income Taxes Acts the services which the worker renders
or is under an obligation to render to the client under the contract shall
be treated as if they were the duties of an office or employment held
by the worker and all remuneration receivable under or in consequence
of that contract shall be treated as emoluments of that office or employment
and shall be assessable to income tax under Schedule E accordingly.
City Council letter to parents
At its meeting on 11 November 1999, the education committee of Glasgow
City Council agreed to adopt the following proposal that: a delineated
area be created for Bannerman High School and that it be formed by the
aggregation of those parts of the delineated areas of the existing associated
primary schools which are zoned to Bannerman High School as shown at Appendix
A legal opinion on a financial firm.
'If it is a breach of the rules not to reveal that there have been many
breaches of the rules then presumably there must be a further breach of
the rules not to reveal the breach of the rules in not revealing the mass
breach of the rules, and so on. The concept of a duty with the capacity
for infinite regression is most unattractive.'
public official's letter to a member of the public.
'I cannot fetter the exercise of my discretion by determining in advance
of the exercise of such discretion how I might exercise that discretion.'
supposedly 'simple' will form.
'Signed by the said TESTATOR.... in the presence of us, present at the
same time, who at the Testator's request, in the Testator's presence,
and in the presence of each other, have subscribed our names at witnesses.'
A conference title.
'Optimising Knowledge Sharing and Maximising Intranet ROI Through Winning
Content Management Strategies'
exam board (explaining the rules for GCSE course).
'Synoptic assessment unit(s), when first attempted, must be taken terminally,
that is, either in the same series as the non-synoptic units or in a subsequent
series. Where there are two synoptic units, they must be taken terminally
and together when taken for the first time.
'In the event of a candidate re-taking non-synoptic units after the synoptic
units have been attempted (for example, when certification has been declined)
there is no requirement for synoptic units to be retaken in order to meet
the 'end-of-course' requirement above.'
accountant to client.
'The requirement that deductibility is contingent on expenditure being
incurred for the purpose of gaining or producing assessable income is
common to the provisions relating to both registration and other expenditure.
'It does not mean that there must be assessable income arising from the
business. All that is required is that the business must be put to use
for the ultimate objective of producing assessable income. However, where
expenditure is incurred for purposes that include the purpose of producing
assessable income, deductibility will only be to the extent that producing
assessable income is the purpose for incurring the expenditure.
Forces Cyprus letter
Unfortunately this letter in Cyprus was all Greek to the reader.
'The allocation is based on a balanced equity share using the same formulae
as last year. Should the DE methodology or a division by category methodology
have been used then some PROPMAN areas would have been severely disadvantaged.'
for Education and Skills Instrument and Articles of Government for Further
Earlier this year, a government order set out new rules for Further Education
Corporations (or colleges as they were once known). Several of the rules
set out how a Corporation can go about sacking or suspending a member
of staff. Rule 14, paragraph 2 explains that: 'Paragraph (1) is without
prejudice to any action which the Corporation may take in relation to
a clerk who is also a member of the staff by way of suspension from or
termination of the appointment as clerk under the terms of any separateappointment
Group (Edinburgh) Craigmillar Masterplan Design Guide
This document is 'a Manifesto for the upbeat possibilities for new settlement
at Craigmillar' (an area of Edinburgh). It opens by explaining that: 'Many
guides are repetitive. Lack of repetition in this one should not be taken
The guide goes on to describe proposals for 'an ambitious new approach
to the urban form of the suburb'. It explains that 'Any reading as an
archaic walled city or fortification is obviated by the sinous form of
the boundary buildings allowing swathes of green to penetrate the actual
Later the guide describes plans for 'sustainable urban drainage systems'.
It says the plans 'shall include attenuation of increased flow generated
by development, localised biological treatment by SUDS, flood alleviation
by avoidance of further culverting, soft engineering the channel edges,
and day lighting the culvert.'
Services Authority consultation paper (CP98) on mortgage regulation
The government's financial watchdog really wants to drive the message
home in this part of the paper:
'3.7 Unsolicited real time qualifying credit promotions
MEANING OF 'SOLICITED' AND 'UNSOLICITED' REAL TIME QUALIFYING CREDIT PROMOTION
1) An unsolicited real time qualifying credit promotion is a real time
qualifying credit promotion which is not a solicited real time qualifying
Examinations Board Levels 3 and 4 advice and guidance standards
These are guidelines for people taking a course in guidance. Unit 4 ('Develop
and maintain interaction with clients') suggests that 'tensions between
resource constraints influencing ending and client requirements are managed'.
In other words, the client should know how long the interview will last.
The guidelines add the need to be sure that 'interactions avoid disabling
and exploitative behaviour and encourage clients' autonomy'. Or to put
it another way, 'Clients are treated with respect.'
Meanwhile, in unit 23 ('Work with the caller on the telephone'), the reader
discovers that 'verbal gesturing provides reassurance to caller of continued
presence and sense of safety which provides encouragement to express their
feelings and wishes'. In plain English, you should make sure the caller
knows you are still on the line and they can talk openly to you.
terms and conditions
Among this computer firm's collection of epic sentences is this 141-word
'Except in respect of death or personal injury caused by the Company's
negligence the Company shall not be liable to the Customer by reason of
any representation (unless fraudulent) or any implied warranty, condition
or other term or any duty in common law or under the express terms of
the Contract for any indirect, special or consequential losses or damages
(whether for loss of profit or otherwise) costs expenses or other claims
for compensation whatsoever (whether caused by the negligence of the Company,
its employees, agents or otherwise) which arise out of or in connection
with the supply of the Goods or their use or resale by the Customer and
the entire liability of the Company under or in connection with the Contract
shall not exceed one and a half times the price paid for the Goods in
question by the Customer.
of Dundee 'Corporate Identity Design Rationale'
Ever wondered how the University of Dundee chose its logo? You'll soon
wish you hadn't.
'The geometric foundation of the design is based upon a circular form,
which makes reference to the Institution's global perspective and international
reputation in teaching and research. The typographic elements demonstrate
a hierarchy which promotes the importance of the location within the nomenclature.
The group of circles represents the incremental growth of knowledge and
experience and the progressive development of the University as an educational
leader. This thematic device continues through to the linear band on the
right of the Shield of Arms and describes the cyclical movement of time,
indicating progression and new directions.'
Thomas Hodgins plc job advert
The advert is for a 'Workplace & Diversity Director' for the 'Business
in the Community' organisation. The lucky candidate will help 'make the
most of UK Plc's Human Resources by changing its people landscape through
inclusivity'. They will also make 'Business in the Community' 'the primary
catalyst for change and centre of excellence on all things inclusive'.
Apparently applicants will need to 'possess the leadership, gravitas and
currency to impact upon your peer group'.