Wednesday, May 19, 2004

More than Words

Argh, I am so addicted to attention span at work today has been completely shot coz I keep checking it to see if I can find any new words - so be warned of the addictiveness before you check it out!

On the same topic, ie words, I'm gonna have a bit of a rant about one of my pet hates...As someone who deals in words and subtleties of meaning for a living, I am terribly pedantic about their use. There are 3 things that drive me insane when I see them in professional or public writing:

1) Bad spelling. Actually, this annoys me in any writing at all - dammit, people whose first language is English should know how to spell! I'm not talking about knowing how to spell the ridiculous words that noone ever uses (like some of those that the kids in Spellbound had to spell - some of them were corkers!), and I'm not talking about typos or slang. What gets me is when people get the common, every day words that you see ALL THE TIME wrong.
2) Poor grammar and punctuation. There is nothing more irritating than seeing a sign at the supermarket that says "Trolley's". It makes me itch to get out the liquid paper and get rid of that bloody errant apostrophe! (If you are similarly irritated,check out the Self-Appointed Grammar Police page here - unfortunately it hasn't been updated for a while)
3) Convoluted language. This is more of a problem in legal writing than in other fields - lawyers seem to feel that if they make a passage of writing completely incomprehensible to everyone else, they are all the more intelligent for having written it.

This rant was brought on by a particular senior lawyer whose submissions I recently reviewed and suggested some "plain English" amendments to, in an attempt to make them vaguely readable and 3 pages shorter...not only did he not *use* any of my suggestions, he didn't even acknowledge that I had given them - argh, so frustrating! Ah, what can a lowly worker bee do.

Enough ranting, back to Babble...


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