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Off topic: Plain English Awards and corporate gobbledegook
Thread poster: James Calder

James Calder  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:28
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Dec 6, 2004

Hi everyone,

The Plain English Awards have just been announced along with the eight finest examples of corporate gibberish detected this year.

Here's the link:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4072487.stm

Just imagine having to translate it!

James


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 02:28
German to English
Further reading on gobbledegook Dec 6, 2004

Thank you for posting this, James. It's one of my favorite topics.

A fine writer on the English language, Richard Mitchell, in "Less Than Words Can Say", writes: "The propensity for borrowed jargon is always a mark of limited ability in the technique of discursive thought. It comes from a poor education. A poor education is not simply a matter of thinking that components and elements might just as well be called factors; it is the inability to manipulate that elaborate symbol system that permits us to make fine distinctions among such things."

http://www.proz.com/post/93623#93623

http://www.proz.com/post/48243#48243

http://www.proz.com/post/96658#96658


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Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 09:28
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
Nuts Dec 7, 2004

\"In the Nuts (Unground) (Other than Groundnuts) Order, the expression nuts shall have reference to such nuts, other than groundnuts, as would, but for this Amending Order, not qualify as nuts (Unground) (Other than Groundnuts) by reason of their being nuts (Unground).

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xxxIanW
Local time: 09:28
German to English
+ ...
A ProZ version? Dec 7, 2004

How about our own version: the ProZ Plain Language awards? If nothing else, it's a good way of letting off steam ...

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Elizabeth Sumner
Local time: 08:28
Russian to English
+ ...
Home Sweet Home Dec 7, 2004

You're all making me homesick! I'm proud to say the Plain English Campaign is all done from my little hometown of 9000 people, New Mills (also famous for being the home of ghastly Swizzels sweets). It's housed in what was the local Conservative Club - UK translators will see the irony. Anyway, I think Blaise Pascal summed it up best:

I have made this [letter] longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter.

Blaise Pascal, "Lettres provinciales", letter 16, 1657

Liz Sumner
www.polaris-translation.co.uk


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sylvie malich
Germany
Local time: 09:28
German to English
Here's the perfect tool Dec 7, 2004

I remembered this link and thought I'd share it with those who need help getting the right bullshit phrase.

Dilbert Gobbledygook generator

http://www.strauss.za.com/sla/newspeak.html


syl


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James Calder  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:28
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Whilst we're on the subject ... Dec 7, 2004

... here's a link to Private Eye's "Pseuds' Corner" with plenty of fine examples of prententious, overblown twaddle:

http://www.private-eye.co.uk/content/showitem.cfm/issue.1120/section.pseuds

"Dumb Britain" is well worth a look too. Who says we're a nation of thickos?

By the way, Liz, I happen to be very fond of Swizzels' Love Hearts. Shame you can't get them in Spain.

[Edited at 2004-12-07 12:37]


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Jaakko
Local time: 10:28
English to Finnish
+ ...
Purpose of writing Dec 8, 2004

sylvie malich wrote:

I remembered this link and thought I'd share it with those who need help getting the right bullshit phrase.

Dilbert Gobbledygook generator

http://www.strauss.za.com/sla/newspeak.html


syl


You have convinced me that the purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure poor reasoning, and inhibit clarity!

Whit this great tool it is now so easy to turn everything I write into intimidating and inpenetrable fog!

Thank you!

Jaakko


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