April 27, 2009

Taxi!

I followed a taxi home from work today.

It had the registration BU5 2 PUB

I thought that was rather neat.

April 02, 2009

Plane Language?

I was watching BBC News this morning and there was a report on the tragic loss of another helicopter in the North Sea off Aberdeen. The spokeswoman for the Coastguard detailed the resources they had out searching for wreckage and survivors. This included “fixed wing assets”. I can only presume she meant aircraft.

The word “aircraft” is 7 letters and 2 words less than “fixed wing assets” and is far more understandable.

Why, oh why, do we invent unnecessary terms for words that already exist and which already adequately describe the subject matter to hand?

Whatever happened to the Plain English lobby? While leaflets and posters are now required to be written in plain English so that the subject is plainly understood by all and sundry, it seems there are sections of society who are determined to expand our language for their own sense of self-importance and at the cost of understanding to the rest of society.