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Plain English Awards to be announced on 4 December

The annual Plain English Awards will be announced on 4 December. As ever, we will use the occasion to draw attention to those doing their bit for plain English and clear communication. We will also point out a few examples from the other end of the clarity scale, including a few verbal clangers.

For those winners of our ‘good’ awards, we applaud their efforts and their commitment to clear communication and a message fit for the widest possible audience. They provide a great service that has not gone unnoticed, and here’s our chance to appreciate and thank them.

Sadly, those failing to use plain English are still failing dramatically. There are some excerpts in our upcoming awards magazine that are textbook examples of what not to do; but they are, as usual, not attempts at clear communication.

Those efforts we have chosen as the worst of 2013 tend to use impenetrable language to confuse, misdirect or deceive. Big or poorly-chosen words often mask little or non-existent ideas. There are those happy to adopt our principles and make life easier for everyone. Unfortunately, it seems there will also always be those committed to the same tired and empty buzzwords.

We have the opportunity once again, on December 4, to pour scorn upon the year’s atrocities of language and speech and, more importantly, bring to your attention those we feel show the way forward. We will continue to do likewise in 2014.

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