Monday, December 12, 2005

The Plain English Campaign's latest examples of some hideous travesties of the English language

If we think ourselves competent in a language, it's very humbling to face sentences in that language that are correct in every way, and yet don't seem to have any discernible meaning. Unless it's "small print", in which case it's totally unsurprising, should you even have got yourself into the state of being faced with it. Assuming you're part of us. It's just the Way It (And The Rest of Life) Is. Saying that, maybe it is worth reading those minisculely-written passages, in case they're binding. You might come across physics-defying claims like this one [source: BBC News Online]:

"2. Australian Taxations Office for: 'For the purpose of making a declaration under this Subdivision, the Commissioner may: a) treat a particular event that actually happened as not having happened; and b) treat a particular event that did not actually happen as having happened and, if appropriate, treat the event as: i) having happened at a particular time; and ii) having involved particular action by a particular entity; and c) treat a particular event that actually happened as: i) having happened at a time different from the time it actually happened; or ii) having involved particular action by a particular entity (whether or not the event actually involved any action by that entity).' "
There's more where that came from, though they are a pretty poor selection this year. Depressing, should you have forgotten to take that Prozac or somesuch this morning. Do it now, and reset the computer. Ah, that's better.... Now you can exhale. Who told you an ellipsis is a good time to exhale? Bad. Bad reader. Don't come back.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Ryan Miller said...

Nice stuff guy. Given your Hemingway-esque command of the written word it is especially pointed,

Your erstwhile tutorial partner (very bored in work).

1/03/2006 10:22:00 am  

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