Gobbledygook

The jolly season of prizes and awards seem to have affected me in a strange way — I can’t quite get enough of Fa-la-la-la-la, La-la-la-la… Thus some more of who got what and for what exactly.

Plain English Campaign, the organization that for over 30 years is fighting a seemingly loosing battle “against gobbledygook, jargon and misleading public information” across the pond, announced winners Foot In Mouth, Kick In The Pants and Golden Bull awards this month. (This sentence alone could’ve been considered for at least an Honorable Mention, no?)

They believe that everyone should have access to clear and concise information and reward those who muddle such access with their officious gobbledygook.

footinmouthFoot in Mouth Award 

This honor is bestowed upon a public figure who has made a baffling comment. Quite deservedly, last year it went to Mitt Romney for statement such as this precious jewel:

“I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that’s the America millions of Americans believe in. That’s the America I love.”

The 2013 Foot in Mouth award goes to Godfrey Bloom MEP  (Member of the European Parliament). He distinguished himself by describing countries that receive aid from the UK as ‘Bongo Bongo land’ and called women at a Women in Politics  event ‘sluts’ for not cleaning behind their fridges. This and other transgressions were duly noted by press while taken place in time for Plain English Campaign to catch with Godfrey Bloom MEP and reward him for his performance on various European public arenas.

golden bullGolden Bull Awards 2013

Several entries were selected among much BS and a few received a winning nod.

  • The notice about an open seminar at the University of Essex Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies:Spectrum
  • This Celtic Carvery & Alehouse ‘Bar Manager / Manageress’ job advert:BarJob

Kick in the Pants AwardKick

This award draws attention to companies or organisations that need to communicate in plainer English. Leicester City Council must be proud of this winning entry:

“A person who habitually has a dog in his possession shall be taken to be in charge of the dog at any time unless at that time some other person is in charge of the dog.” 

Ladies and gentlemen of the Campaign seem to be seriously concerned about keeping English clear, plain and, well, easy to follow no matter how high or lowly is the office that generates the verbiage and uses it to communicate with general public.

Their humor is dry and purposeful. One can also find a cute Gobbledygook generator on their website there that can help anyone who is incapable of inventive gobbledygook and spit out some gibberish worthy of inspirational talk:

This is no time to bite the bullet with our functional reciprocal matrix approaches.

Perhaps because We need a more contemporary reimagining of our knowledge-based incremental innovation?

Disclaimer: Neither one of the illustration to this post came from the Plain English Campaign website.

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