Still using unhelpful headlines … and still talking about batsmen

I’ve complained before about the unhelpful and misleading headlines The Times uses when an inside page continues an article that started on the back page. Their style seems to be to invent a new headline for the rest of the article, rather than keep the original headline. Please keep the same headline throughout – Language…… Continue reading Still using unhelpful headlines … and still talking about batsmen

British sign language will be a GCSE subject

Schoolchildren will soon be able to study British Sign Language (BSL) as a GCSE. The target is for schools to be able to teach it from September 2025.   As part of the GCSE, students will be taught at least 750 signs and how to use them to communicate effectively with other signers in work, social…… Continue reading British sign language will be a GCSE subject

Careless talk cost a goal

The introduction of video assistant referees (VAR) has led to a lot of discussion in many sports, particularly football. That is because VAR has slowed decisions down and hasn’t cut out  all referring errors. One particularly shocking example arose from poor communication between the on-field referee and the VAR team at a Premier League football…… Continue reading Careless talk cost a goal

You can stop building

A headline in the paper last week made me stop and think about different uses of the verb stop. The headline said ‘You can stop building on green sites, councils told’. There are at least 2 ways to read that sentence: Councils can prevent other people from building on green sites. Councils themselves will no…… Continue reading You can stop building

Irish clothing stores bans Irish wording on employee’s jumper

Primark’s clothing store in Belfast recently told an employee to stop wearing a jumper bearing the Irish phrase Nollaig Shona (‘Happy Christmas’). Reports say a manager told the employee that Irish language on clothing might offend some people—though wording in Spanish would be acceptable. Ironically, Primark is based in the Republic of Ireland. It was…… Continue reading Irish clothing stores bans Irish wording on employee’s jumper

Back to Earth

On the radio this morning, someone was talking about an uncrewed mission that has just collected samples from the asteroid Bennu. The spacecraft bringing the sample came back to Earth in September in the Utah desert. Nasa is distributing fragments to researchers across the world, including the UK. The interviewer started to say ‘bring the…… Continue reading Back to Earth

Sign Language for trial for more trains

A UK train operator, Northern announced in September 2023, that it would interpret its announcements into British Sign Language (BSL) on some of its services.  Passengers will first see the new BSL visuals on trains between Manchester Victoria and Leeds. The visuals will interpret information such as station announcements. The train operator aims to have…… Continue reading Sign Language for trial for more trains

When the machines started hallucinating

The Cambridge Dictionary—an online dictionary for learners of English—has added a new meaning to its definition of ‘hallucinate’ and has picked ‘hallucinate’ as its Word of the Year for 2023. Cambridge Dictionary names ‘Hallucinate’ Word of the Year 2023 | University of Cambridge Hallucinating ‘false information’ This year has seen a surge in interest in…… Continue reading When the machines started hallucinating

Nynorsk writer wins Nobel literature prize

The winner of the 2023 Nobel Prize in Literature was someone who writes in Norwegian, Jon Fosse. That award is notable not just because Fosse is the first winner known best for his plays since Harold Pinter (2005). And not just because he is the first winner who writes in Norwegian since Sigrid Undset (1928).…… Continue reading Nynorsk writer wins Nobel literature prize

13 October International Plain Language Day

Today (13 October 2023) is International Plain Language Day International Plain Language Day – Plain Language Association International (PLAIN) (plainlanguagenetwork.org) In June 2023, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) published ISO 24495-1 Plain language — Part 1: Governing principles and guidelines. ISO on Plain Language – Language Miscellany