Plain Language Commission . Clear English Standard


  1. Writing Leeds to confusion
  2. Fall of Troy
  3. Plain language and the courts
  4. Pikestaff 75 – read it now
  5. Garner’s Modern English Usage ‘a huge achievement’
  6. Jottings
  7. Jargon for grown-ups
  8. English to be Latin of EU?
  9. Large amount of amounts
  10. ‘The reason is because’
  11. Clichés – ‘wash down’, again
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News & views


[1 December 2011] The prissy opinion that English is a pure tongue to be saved from foreign taint is difficult for anyone to maintain, though some do their valiant best. Proof is everywhere that we speak a mongrel language that’s been spliced with other gene pools, eg caravan (Persian), bungalow (Hindi), and trek (South African Dutch).

The Times says ‘kangaroo’ derives from ‘gangurru’ in the Aboriginal language Guugu Yimithirr. As a sometime breeder of cage birds, I recall that ‘budgerigar’ derives from Aboriginal words that may mean ‘good to eat’. You’d need quite a few to make a decent meal, though. [MC]

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