I love a good style guide. And I applaud anyone encouraging the use of clear English. But the GOV.UK style guide, produced by the United Kingdom’s Government Digital Service (GDS) for the GOV.UK website (the new portal bringing together all, or most, of the UK’s government websites), is really bugging me. More specifically, the part on plain […]

If you’ve ever felt bewildered by legalese and found it far removed from Plain English, take heart: you’re in good company. Court of Appeal judge Sir Alan Ward recently heard a case revolving around the Council Tax liability of a family living on an old tug boat, the Cannis. One factor having a bearing on the decision was […]

It’s been a while since I wrote about my (and your) favourite or least favourite words. But at Glasgow’s State of the City Economy Conference last week (9 Nov), some of the buzzwords and -phrases used by the speakers set my teeth on edge. And then I read a Macmillan Dictionary blog post on nouning and verbing, so […]

Buzzwords

04Feb12

A buzzword, according to Merriam Webster’s online dictionary, is: 1. a voguish word or phrase —called also buzz phrase 2. an important-sounding usually technical word or phrase often of little meaning used chiefly to impress laymen You can tell by the definitions that Merriam Webster isn’t very keen on buzzwords/phrases. Neither am I. And two […]

Have you got any website words that set your teeth on edge? “Passionate” is one of mine, as in “we’re passionate about quality” (or about our work, our clients etc). First, it’s over-used and doesn’t do anything to distinguish company A from company B. If everybody’s passionate about their work and their clients, where’s the […]

I had a Twitter conversation recently with Ashleigh Grange of Plush Text Communications and Janine Libbey of P & L Translations about words we dislike. Ashleigh’s language bugbear of the day was incentivise, Janine’s prioritise and mine diarise. My current handbag-book for the train and doctors’/dentists’ waiting rooms is “The English Language” by David Crystal. I was surprised to find […]