December 13, 2005

Me Speak English Good

Introducing the Plain English Awards, celebrating all those entities (both persons and institutions) who have failed spectacularly in communicating clearly over the past year.

Since the awards are given by Englishmen, the premio gordo naturally went to a Welshman, First Minister Rhodri Morgan. His winning quote: "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."

I'll give my own Rhodri Morgan Award to Joe Malchow for the following sentence, taken from one of last night's posts:
The general oddity of Vermont affects a vasty circular area probable.
Even more offensive is the title of the post: "On Saccharine Wings of Cuteness."

Edit: Joe updates his page with a link to the definition of "circular area probable." Cool, it's a phrase. Now how about vasty? American Heritage Dictionary has an entry for it, but it is labelled "archaic." In fact, it's an archaic term that actually has a well-known, very common and much more pleasant-sounding equivalent—vast. And "circular area probable" is simply a bit of military jargon that is so commonly employed, Joe's usage is actually the seventh result in a Google search for the term. In fact, on the entire Internet, there is a grand total of 47 results for the term. Now, hats off to Joe for knowing it, but why the hell should we?

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