LETTER: My plea for the use of plain English

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Congratulations to Pendle Council’s communications team for their award in this year’s Plain English Campaign.

Perhaps they’d like to pop round to Daisy Communications and offer some advice to the spokesmen there. In the adjacent article on page 12 of your edition of December 16th, the executive chairman for Daisy said: “While there have been certain regulatory and market factors impacting pricing, our margin management has been robust and we have continued to focus on eliminating cost inefficiencies where appropriate.”

Additionally the chief executive is quoted as saying: “The business has continued to demonstrate strong cash generation and with all acquisitions integrated, significant synergies have been achieved.” I think I understand it but to quote the banner alongside – what a load of gobbledegook! Why can’t they just say it in plain English?

Continuing with my Grumpy Old Man theme, I noticed on Page 9 your journalist wrote in the article about two women being attacked: “As they were stood there…” No! It’s: “As they were standing there…” (They stand, they are standing, they stood, they were standing).

Consider for example the verb “to run”. (They run, they are running, they ran, they were running) I’m sure you wouldn’t say: “They were ran” so please let’s not have “They were stood”. I appreciate this is slipping in to everyday use but that’s not plain English, that’s just bad grammar!

Rant over.