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

Editing the National Trust

[27 July 2015] ’Tis the season for wandering around the houses, parks and gardens so ably stewarded by the National Trust, perhaps the UK's greatest keeper of worthwhile places.

’Tis also the time to cast a critical eye over the National Trust publications you collect as you wander. So if you find any that don't come up to scratch – or any that are particularly good – do please drop us an email.

At Trelissick, a country house and gardens on the banks of the Fal river in Cornwall, the walking map is generally well designed and clear but one miserable paragraph stands out – perhaps it was a late addition that avoided the editor’s scrutiny. It goes like this:

‘The iconic Water Tower was built for irrigating the estate and for fire control, today you can holiday there. More examples of re-use is the rain water we collect and use, also the spare heat from our kitchens appliances keeps the restaurant cosy, our water is heated by solar panels. We are constantly finding new ways to be eco-friendly.’

That punctuation is a car crash, while ‘More examples of re-use is...’ and ‘kitchens appliances’ could be better. It’s always good to strike out that overused word of the moment, ‘iconic’, so perhaps the paragraph could say something like:

‘The water tower was built for fire control and to irrigate the estate, but today you can holiday there and enjoy wonderful views over the gardens and the Fal.

‘We are continually finding new ways of being Earth-friendly. For example, we collect and use rain water in the gardens, we keep the restaurant cosy using spare heat from the kitchen appliances, and our water is heated by solar panels.’ [cont]

Pages: First | Next | Last

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