An EU report on the misues of English words and phrases

In Politics and the English Language Orwell wrote:

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.

Or to put it another way language is important or you lose meaning. This is especially important when you attempt to communicate difficult concepts and ideas. There’s a fashion in political circles which allows everyone to obfuscate meaning that appears the same now as it was when Orwell wrote his seminal essay.

However, back in 2013 someone at the European Court of Auditors was paying attention and commissioned this report (PDF):

Misused English Words and Expressions in EU Publications

It’s a fascinating, entertaining and occasionally bad-tempered piece of work. I commend the author for this excellent report and bringing clarity to a broad range of institutions, many of which will have documents written in English by those whose first language is something else.

Check it out!

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One Comment on “An EU report on the misues of English words and phrases”

  1. […] am indebted to The Antihippy for pointing me in the direction of a […]


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