Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Jargon abusers named and shamed

The Plain English Campaign likes to kick the boot into companies who mask the simple use of language with corporate-speak or gobbledygook.

This year's winners from the travel industry include:

Virgin Trains for a letter about problems booking online - "Moving forwards, we as Virgin Trains are looking to take ownership of the flow in question to apply our pricing structure, thus resulting in this journey search appearing in the new category-matrix format. The pricing of this particular flow is an issue going back to 1996 and it is not something that we can change until 2008 at the earliest. I hope this makes the situation clear." Erm, yes, absolutely.

BAA for a sign at Gatwick Airport - "Passenger shoe repatriation area only." This is obviously somewhere different from the Customer Pause Zone just before immigration. Travel Weekly's chief sub Megan Turner was moved recently to take a picture.

Translink for a sign at Coleraine railway station - "Every Autumn a combination of leaves on the line, atmospheric conditions and prevailing damp conditions lead to a low adhesion between the rail head and the wheel which causes services to be delayed or even cancelled. NI Railways are committed to minimising service delays, where we can, by implementing a comprehensive low adhesion action programme." Or, getting rid of the leaves.

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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