Plain Language Commission . Clear English Standard

Current

  1. Fall of Troy
  2. Subeditors a dying breed, says new website
  3. Plain language and the courts
  4. Deceptive language – food from fake farms
  5. Pikestaff 75 – read it now
  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
Go to archive

News & views

Heteronyms: peddle power

[7 Aug 2013] Headline in the local paper says: ‘Saleswoman is fined for no licence’ and the story begins: ‘A Derbyshire woman has been convicted of pedaling without a licence in Buxton, a court heard.'

This piqued our interest at Plain Language Towers. Since when did salespeople need a licence to ride a bicycle?  And if they did, wouldn’t it be better spelt ‘pedalling’?

Then, slow-witted creatures that we are, the penny dropped. The saleswoman was selling household products door to door, and for this she needs a licence. She is a pedlar, she peddles, and she was peddling illegally so someone grassed her up. As to whether she was using a bicycle to help her get about, the story is tomb-silent. You just can’t find the facts you need, these days.

Yes, I accept the cookie. No, I decline the cookie.

clearest.co.uk would like to place a cookie on your computer to help us make this website better. To find out more about the cookies, see our privacy policy