Tag: Language

Good Writing Saves Money

Poor writing and communication cost millions each year in wasted time and lost business opportunities. In the USA, an estimated 30% of all business writing is produced to clarify or seek clarification of something already written. A study by the

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Our language lunacy as defined by Orwell

In my last post, I quoted some examples of linguistic lunacy – commingled containers, access controller, disposable mucus recovery unit, etc – and wondered what Orwell would think. In his Politics and the English Language essay, he offered “five specimens of the

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Language lunacy – what would Orwell think?

The English language today – or why George Orwell would need his mucus recovery unit if he had not experienced a suboptimal outcome George Orwell’s essay, ‘Politics and the English Language‘, begins: “Most people who bother with the matter at

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How official language masks human heartbreak

Irish immigration laws may be “robust”, but they are “progressive” – so all is fine and dandy. And if anyone ends up heartbroken, that’s ok, as long as they are not “excessively” heartbroken.

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The Queen’s English as spoken by Ryanair’s O’Leary

Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary is a remarkable character (love him, hate him or love/hate him). He’s remarkable both in what he’s achieved (love or hate his methods) and in the way he talks to the world. Here are some examples:

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Hey, let’s get the Americans to speak the Queen’s English

Did you know that there’s an organisation called the Queen’s English Society? No? Nor did I, until today. On its website, it shouts out its key message – in capital letters (but gentlemen shouldn’t shout, so I won’t inflict them

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World-class, state-of-the-art, best-practice bullshit

If Professor Michael O’Keeffe, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon in Temple Street Children’s Hospital, Dublin, is as good a doctor as he is a man, then he’s one of the best. On 9 July, he was interviewed by Pat Kenny on RTE

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Manglishing the language

Back in 2006, it was reported that Malaysia planned to fine people who mangled the national language on posters and signs. Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Rais Yatim warned that billboards and posters showing “mutated” forms of Malay would lead

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How churnalists make us solastalgic for the good old days

We’ve invented  a lot of ghastly new words and phrases in recent decades: ugly, bland, abstract, meaningless jargon. So it’s good to come across some colourful new words on Paul McFedries’s website Wordspy: churnalism Churnalism is what so-called journalists do

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Two kinds of language – and a dam letter event

An exchange of letters illustrates vividly two different ways in which we use language.

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