Plain Language Commission . Clear English Standard


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News & views

Business language needs a lift

[18 Mar 2016] It’s not news that standards of English are low, even among leading UK businesses. Punctuation is particularly woeful. Here’s a typical example – part of a letter from the ‘office manager’ of a well-known stairlift provider who’s responding to a complaint that its terms and conditions were missing from an earlier letter:

‘You mentioned in your letter regarding the terms and conditions of the Three Star Service contract, these terms were sent together with the contract for the customer’s records, however, these terms may have been misplaced so please see attached details.’

So it wasn’t just the terms that were misplaced, but the full stops too. And how companies that screw up do love to use the impersonal passive voice!

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