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    15 December, 2005

    Rhodri's Plain English award

    Oliver Kamm makes some sensible points about the Plain English gobbledegook award to Rhodri:

    THIS WEEK the Plain English Campaign announced its annual award for gobbledegook. The winner was the Welsh First Minister, Rhodri Morgan, for stating: “The only thing which isn’t up for grabs is no change and I think it’s fair to say it’s all to play for, except for no change.” It is Mr Morgan’s second award; the first was in 1998 for asking: “Do one-legged ducks swim in circles?”

    Yet, while Mr Morgan’s winning entry is cliché-ridden, it is not gobbledegook. It is a statement, comprehensible on first reading, that many outcomes are possible, excepting only stasis. Likewise, Mr Morgan’s comment about ducks, in context, is a clear and arresting metaphor....

    Mocking convoluted English is a public service. As George Orwell wrote: “Silly words and expressions have often disappeared, not through any evolutionary process but owing to the conscious action of a minority.” The Plain English Campaign adopts the unrelated approach of intellectual snobbery; British public life has quite enough of that already.

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    Promoted by Leighton Andrews AM, National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff CF99 1NA.

    Author's editorial policy: This blog does not publish anonymous comments, unless they are really witty and I like them. If you have something to say, then have the courage of your convictions and use your name or an identifiable alias. Even then I reserve the right not to publish comments that are malicious, defamatory, stupid, pointlessly cynical or boring. Any of the statements or comments made above should be regarded as personal and not necessarily those of the National Assembly for Wales, any constituent part or connected body.