Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Golden Bulls

One of the links in the Language section of our sidebar recommendations is for the Plain English Campaign ('fighting for crystal-clear communication since 1979), which held its annual Golden Bulls awards ceremony last month in London. The awards are for 'the year's "best" examples of gobbledygook.'

Among the winners for 2007 was Virgin Trains, in a letter to passengers about problems with their online booking system :-

Moving forwards, we as Virgin Trains are looking to take ownership of the flow in question to apply our pricing structure, thus resulting in this journey search appearing in the new category-matrix format. The pricing of this particular flow is an issue going back to 1996 and it is not something that we can change until 2008 at the earliest. I hope this makes the situation clear.

and another winner was British Airports Authority for a wonderful sign at Gatwick Airport, which read :-

Passenger shoe repatriation area only.

The full list is here. While on the site, have a look also at the annual Foot in Mouth awards, given for 'a baffling comment by a public figure.' The 2007 winner was the former England football manager (the 'wally with the brolly') who said about the player Wayne Rooney:-

He is inexperienced, but he's experienced in terms of what he's been through.

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