Awkward wording: "The University would like to inform you about a new process that we must follow beginning with the Fall 2014 semester regarding confirming academic activity. "
When I was doing my post grad course we had a couple of classes which were about effective communication, and using plain English. We were given various pieces of writing to 'translate'.
I found it really surprising to see how many people seemed to struggle to put things into clear, understandable english.
Our tutor admitted (when
bribed with beer
asked nicely) that all of the examples were taken from actual letters, leaflets and notices issued by the University.
(One which bugs me is the warning which used to be displayed on local rubbish vans 0 in the old days, this used to read "Caution! - Men at Work"
Presumaby this was thought to be sexist, so instead of changing it to "Caution! People at Work" they decided to go with "Caution - Operatives working at rear of vehicle" Which bugged me for a number of reasons:
- It was displayed on the back of the vehicle. The workers would be working mainly but not entirely at the back, so if you could see the sign, you could also see the people working.
- because it is a longer statement, they had to make the lettering smaller, so it was harder to read and so less effective
- it assumes that everyone is familiar with the words 'operative' and 'vehicle'
I have recently moved house into a new area. Our local bin lorries don;t appear to have any warnings at all, perhaps relying on the fact that they are covered in flashing orange lights, and that all of the workers wear Hi-Viz jackets. The recycling lorries have big signs which just say "Caution!" and leave it up to the individual driver to work out what they need to be cautious about.. )