Plain Language Commission . Clear English Standard


  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

Dumb and dumber in Dunbartonshire

[23 Feb 2014] Every few weeks there’s a newspaper story that makes your jaw drop, and this is it.

A family that includes a wheelchair-using seven-year-old girl needed easier access to their home, owned by West Dunbartonshire Council, near Glasgow. So, instead of rehousing the family where there was better access or creating a simple ramp, the council spent at least £40,000 building a 60-metre concrete and metal structure that has obliterated their front garden.

Daily Express columnist Ross Clark's entertaining piece includes a staggering (as it were) picture. Click here for the full works. As Clark points out, the council pays its chief executive £141,000 a year. If the Daily Express is not to your liking, there’s Frances Ryan in the Guardian, whose piece includes before-and-after pictures. Click here.

There’s also the Daily Record for a Scottish take on the story, in which local youths are using the ramp as a skateboarding park and – a nice touch, this – urinating on it. Click here.

Finally, here’s the Daily Telegraph’s piece. Click here.

The West Dunbarton ramp could easily be the greatest example of official stupidity in 2014, though the field already shows signs of being very crowded. No wonder the local council is crying about having to cut back on its budgets. The only silver lining is that tourist buses have started arriving to view the Sochi-style slalom course, adding valuable income to the local economy.

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