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Off topic: Nine things that make no sense...
Thread poster: Clare Barnes

Clare Barnes  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:22
Swedish to English
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Dec 12, 2005

...courtesy of the BBC and the Plain English Campaign.

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Maria Diaconu  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:22
English to Romanian
Thanks :) Dec 12, 2005

I like number 8 in particular

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Andy Watkinson
Local time: 08:22
Catalan to English
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Nuts Dec 13, 2005

As quoted by Prof. Quirk (sic) in an excellent book called "English in Usage" - an example of a Trade Order.

"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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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:22
German to English
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See other people's comments on the site itself Dec 13, 2005

Most of these examples make perfect sense. In fact, most of them are legal formulations which are intended to be absolutely unambiguous, and that requirement takes priority over ease of reading. Some could certainly be explained more clearly by other means, such as by the use of examples, bulleted lists or tables, or a sketch, but that may not be appropriate in the context.

No. 6 is a notable - and frightening - exception.

I encounter passages almost on a daily basis which read very nicely but actually mean something quite different to what they appear to mean at first reading. Much more serious, and not as funny.


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