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
Go to archive

News & views

Fall of Troy

[22 April 2017] We’ve reported regularly on the rising tide of private-parking penalties at hospitals, shopping centres and supermarkets all over the UK, many of them based on unclear signs, dodgy terms and conditions, and the use of surveillance cameras (see several issues of Pikestaff and our articles under ‘Publications’). The Times (21 April) reports that a million drivers a year are now being penalized, roughly a fourfold increase on the figure five years ago.

The mastermind of this ‘industry’, which extracts about £80million in penalties from motorists every year, suddenly resigned as chief executive of the British Parking Association in February. Despite Patrick Troy’s high public profile as chief flak-deflector over the years, with regular appearances on TV and radio, there was no blizzard of tributes from the companies he helped to enrich.

The reason became clear in March at Westminster Magistrates’ Court when Troy pleaded guilty to offences of outraging public decency after a witness saw him filming up a woman's skirt at Vauxhall station, London. The prosecutor said: ‘The defendant was seen holding his phone at an angle below her skirt and the witness saw the red recording light on and a clear image of the skirt and back of the woman’s legs,’ he said. 

‘The witness challenged him at platform eight and followed him onto the train where he was seen with his hand in his right pocket fidgeting with something. It is thought he was trying to get his phone out to delete the image. The police were called and when the train stopped at Clapham Junction he was arrested. A number of other images were found on the phone.’ [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