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I think that's great, Asa. There's even a website about it, bundyontap.com.au, and The New York Times posted an article from the Bundanoon Journal about the ban. The ban is voluntary, but the local businesses are supporting it. Let's hope it sticks.

Reuters posted an article and video. (The video's only about a minute and 10 seconds long, but it will be followed by another unless you shut it off.)

Quote from the video:
quote:
I think it's an excellent idea. It should be done in the whole of the world.
 
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Roll Eyes
 
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Bottled water is a fine example of a product whose sales have been created solely by marketing - and primarily by promotion.

Most developed countries have excellent tap water and there is no need at all for people to pay the obscene prices charged for bottled water - in the UK typically more than that charged for petrol.

UK water companies routinely do blind tastings and never have the drinkers involved been able to detect the tap water sample included in a selection of bottled waters.

Of course, the bottled water companies will howl that it's all unfair since they will be losing out the massive profits they are making from the biggest scam since politics was invented.


Richard English
 
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In the developed nations I agree with you but there are, as I have discovered by travelling and as you certainly know from your years in the travel industry, many undeveloped countries where drinking the tap water or the ground water would be an extremely dangerous risk to take. Now this doesn't mean that you HAVE to drink bottled water. There are alternatives. Water filters and water purification systems are effective but either need to be set up everywhere or the water still needs to be transported from the purification system to the point of need either by tanker or in bottles. They are also often too bulky and slow for an individual to carry.

For the traveller, iodine tablets are certainly effective (though not against everything) but they make the water taste horrible and they would be no use in bulk. Iodine at these levels is also not recommended as a long term constituent of your diet.

There are, I hope you will agree, circumstances where bottled water is a good thing.
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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Of course, Bob, and nobody's advocating giving up a reusable water container, but the damage done by the production and disposal of one-shot water bottles is atrocious.
 
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Until the odd coalition of the politically correct and the grumpy and old are as offended at the sale of bottled adulterated water as they are at much smaller market of bottled clean water, I shall remain skeptical and amused.
 
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I find it interesting that the very same group that loved and promoted bottled water from the "clear mountain steams" (the Oregons and Washingtons and Colorados) are the same people who now are saying how awful bottled water is. I had never gotten into it (except in Bob's good example), mostly because I am cheap. While my kids' friends used bottled water all the time, I wouldn't allow my kids to because of the lack of fluoride, and they thought I was so mean.

When my organization used to hold conferences, at all the breaks, in our bags, etc., we used to give many bottles of water, showing how we were promoting good health ("drink good water!"). This year? We went "green" and gave away plastic (but reusable) bottles and told our members to put tap water in them. What a 180 degree turnabout.
 
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Until the odd coalition of the politically correct and the grumpy and old are as offended at the sale of bottled adulterated water as they are at much smaller market of bottled clean water, I shall remain skeptical and amused.

If I understand you correctly you are saying, "Stop worrying about bottled water sales in the developed world and start worrying about the lack of access to pure water in the underdeveloped world".

If that is the case, then it is rather the same mantra as that which makes such statements as, "Stop wasting money on this space exploration nonsense and instead spend the money on trying to find a cure for cancer". An understandable comment but that's not the way humans work. Eschewing one cause does not mean that another cause will automatically benefit.


Richard English
 
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I think Neveu's skewering those of us who go off on wild tears about inconsequential stuff while ignoring serious matters. He's right, of course, that soft drinks promote obesity and tooth decay. However, around here the homeless gather the bottles people throw out and turn them in for cash so they can buy bottles of booze, which they then discard in the streets in a valiant effort to destroy as many bicycle tires as possible, thereby supporting both the booze industry and the rubber industry. Confused
 
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the homeless gather the bottles people throw out

Well, putting recyclables into the container provided by the local weaste management company is not exactly what I would call throwing away. In these parts they are known as urban miners or buggy recyclers (link).


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Asa Lovejoy:
An excerpt from "Yes" Magazine: Bundanoon, Australia, May be First to Legally Ban Bottled Water


Toronto is planning to ban bottled water by 2011. The race is on!
 
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A ban on retail bags with rope handles or metal grommets by the end of next year.

Whoa, those metal grommets just might increase the iron content of the water in those plastic bottles.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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So explain to me again why they are banning the environmentally friendlier biodegradable bags and paper bags but only putting a charge on non-degradable bags.
I don't think I understand this.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by BobHale:
So explain to me again why they are banning the environmentally friendlier biodegradable bags and paper bags but only putting a charge on non-degradable bags.
I don't think I understand this.


Dude, don't ask me, I just live here.
 
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Banning people makes more sense, but it's politically a tough sell.
 
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I agree; it didn't make sense to me, either.
quote:
He's right, of course, that soft drinks promote obesity and tooth decay.
Well, not the diet drinks, but of course no soft drinks are good for you.

I see neveu's point, but to be honest, I have never understood bottled water. Tap water is perfectly acceptable. What on earth suddenly made bottled water so popular? And then, almost as quickly, it went out of vogue. It was all quite strange.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by BobHale:
So explain to me again why they are banning the environmentally friendlier biodegradable bags and paper bags but only putting a charge on non-degradable bags.

Here's at least one reason:
quote:

Why are biodegradable bags not accepted in the City’s recycling program?

Biodegradable plastic bags look the same as other types of traditional plastic bags, but they are made out of different material than the plastic bags we take for recycling. Biodegradable plastic bags would contaminate our sorting, processing and the material we supply to our end markets. Products made out of recycled plastic bags, such as benches, chairs, tables, would be structurally weakened if they contained biodegradable content that is designed to break down over time.

Not all plastics billed as "biodegradable" really are. And those that really are often end up in landfills, where moisture and air is excluded as much as possible and very little decomposition takes place. From MotherJones:
quote:
What about biodegradable plastics?

They're pretty neat: Microorganisms can convert biodegradable plastics into water, carbon dioxide, and biomass—with no nasty chemical leftovers. However, there is a lot of confusion surrounding these ecofriendlier plastics—some of it intentional. "This word 'biodegradable' has become very attractive to people trying to make quick bucks on it," explains Narayan, who helped develop biodegradable corn-based plastic. Some companies, he says, are making conventional plastic that degrades quickly and then throwing around claims about biodegradability that are unproven or just too good to be true.

Can biodegradable plastics break down in landfills?

This claim, which now shows up on everything from water bottles to trash bags to Discover's "biodegradable PVC" credit cards, is "disingenuous at best," says Narayan. Usually, nothing biodegrades in a landfill. But if biodegradable plastics do break down in this oxygen-free environment, they'll emit methane, a greenhouse gas 23 times more potent than CO2.

If you click on the above link and read the MotherJones article, you'll notice a new word (new to me at least; I first heard it last Friday): nurdle.

Another MotherJones article:

"Where Plastics Go to Kill Beware the revenge of the nurdles."
—By Julia Whitty

Plastics at Sea, by D.H.S. Wehle and Felicia C. Coleman, originally printed in Natural History Magazine, 1983, can be found at Water Pollution: Litter and Solid Waste, p. 6-8 or Plastic Trash and Wildlife, p. 3-6. I think it's worth a read.

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quote:
What on earth suddenly made bottled water so popular? And then, almost as quickly, it went out of vogue. It was all quite strange.


As I wrote earlier, "...Bottled water is a fine example of a product whose sales have been created solely by marketing - and primarily by promotion..."

There have been many other similar products but arguably bottled water is one of the most successful. To package a substance that costs as near nothing as makes no difference, and to sell it for obscene amounts of money to the gullible, is a profiteer's dream.

I hadn't noticed (in the UK anyway) that the stuff had become significantly less popular; our supermarkets' shelves are chock full with it. But if sales are dropping, then I suggest that Abraham Lincoln's quote "...You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time..." might tell us the reason.


Richard English
 
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Yes, Tinman, "nurdle" is new to me as well. It would have been a good bluffing game word.

I still think it's ironic that the same people who promoted "fresh," "clean" bottled water are the ones now who turn their noses up about it.
 
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I still think it's ironic that the same people who promoted "fresh," "clean" bottled water are the ones now who turn their noses up about it.

If that is true (although I can't say I've noticed the likes of Perrier talking down their expensive bottled water over here) then you can be quite sure that the marketeers will be ready with some other highly profitable rubbish!


Richard English
 
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What intrigues me is the number of people on the streets of London, and presumably in other cities, who are carrying, or swigging from, bottles of water. Why do they feel the need to drink water so often? People got on quite well in their journeys from home to work twenty years ago without the necessity to refresh themselves every few minutes. I could understand it in very hot climates, but in London?

The only times I've carried bottled water were in my youth, when I went hill-walking. The bottle would be filled from the tap at the outset, then from mountain streams (possibly with a dead sheep lying further upstream).


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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It's peer pressure. In order to be different, everyone has to dress and act the same as those in their group. Rhode Island is not a desert yet, as Arnie says, lots of people have at least one hand occupied with a bottle of water at all times. And I've noticed the same crowd wears baseball caps backwards and wear exercise gear even though they obviously have no idea what "exercise" is.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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I suspect that the carrying of a bottle of water is an extension of the grazing phenomenon that is now so common. In my youth, if I were travelling and felt the need for food or drink, I would stop at an appropriate place and eat or drink as necessary and then be on my way.

No it is very common for people to walk around with parcels of food, eating as they go. I could be wrong, but I think this happened when Value Added Tax was introduced. VAT was not payable on foodstuffs, but was payable on prepared meals. This meant that a helping of fish and chips would be more expensive if eaten at the place of purchase than if it were taken away. Thus many people would by the fish and chips in a bag and walk off, eating as they did so, for the sake of saving the VAT.


Richard English
 
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I almost always have a bottle of water near me, but I rarely purchase said water already bottled (unless circumstances cause me to).

I thought I'd throw a new article your way.

CNN has a new article on the changing nature of libraries.


*******
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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I seriously hope I'm dead before that happens!

Asa the lover of quiet
 
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A few days ago I was in a Panera where a little boy (about 6) told his Dad he wanted Coke from the machine. His dad said, "You like Coke now? That's great! I am so glad to see you're growing up!"

It made me a little sick.
 
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September 5 is International Vulture Awareness Day!

Vultures get their day

quote:
  • Nor should people expect that dogs and other scavengers will clean up carcasses efficiently. Most pick at dead animals, eating the parts they like and leaving the rest. By contrast, vultures are masters of the pick-the-bone-clean diners. A flock can descend on an animal, even a cow, and a couple hours later depart from this impromptu “restaurant” leaving no flesh behind. Which would you rather have sitting around the neighborhood: A pile of bones or maggot-infested, slowly decomposing animal remains? Uh, that would seem a no-brainer.

  • So let’s give these funky looking birds the respect they deserve.



Vulture (Wikipedia)
quote:
These birds are of great value as scavengers, especially in hot regions. Vulture stomach acid is exceptionally corrosive (pH 0)[4], allowing them to safely digest putrid carcasses infected with Botulinum toxin, hog cholera, and anthrax bacteria that would be lethal to other scavengers.[5] This also enables them to use their reeking, corrosive vomit as a defensive projectile when threatened.


Turkey Vulture
quote:
  • Like the Black Vulture, this bird patrols roads searching for road kill; they have been so frequently seen doing this that dead animals on roads are now sometimes referred to as 'TV dinners', where TV stands, not for television, but for Turkey Vulture.

  • These birds will devour the most putrid of meat and have a natural immunity the toxins which might kill any other creature. Botulism has no effect on the Turkey Vulture at all. Droppings are happily deposited upon the legs of the vulture as these contain an antiseptic coating which then protects the birds legs from contracting infection through the prey. Bald heads are also vulnerable to various bacteria, however the sun kills these off before any harm occurs. However, Turkey Vultures often do become ill and are very susceptible to stress.

  • Food is frequently regurgitated, either to reduce bodyweight and allow take-off in the event of an emergency, or as a form of defence. It is said that skunks and the contents of a Turkey Vultures stomach have much in common.
 
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You tryin' to make me hungry, Tinman? Big Grin I find it very interesting that vultures are susceptable to stress. Can't blame them. Making a living as they do would stress the hell outa me!

Considering the Ph of a vulture's gut, if you were to shove a copper prod in his cloaca and one in his gullet, you could use him as an electric cell. You could attach a lamp to it and then the vulture would have a marker beacon, thereby reducing strikes by aircraft!

Ever-so-clever Asa Roll Eyes
 
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I imagine turkey vultures are most stressed around Thanksgiving.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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We all knew it was true; now there's proof! http://www.telegraph.co.uk/hea...to-pretty-women.html
 
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Gobbledegook.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by arnie:
Gobbledegook.


Language Log has some harsh things to say about the Plain English Campaign.
 
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To give them their due, The Plain English Society do some pretty good work, pointing out the obfuscations and sheer unreadable writing that appears in many (mainly bureaucratic) publications. They are a sort of modern-day Sir Ernest Gowers (Plain Words, etc.). I think they are operating a little out of their comfort zone when they make these awards, but it presumably brings them publicity.

They are not to be confused, of course, with the prescriptive pedants at the Queen's English Society.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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I would still distinguish between some that is merely incomprehensible to those readers outside the intended audience of a text. For example, though the syntax of the sentences parses quite easily for me, I really have little idea what this paper is about
quote:
Abstract: Phosphatidic acid (PA), which can be produced by phospholipase D (PLD), is involved in various signaling events, such as cell proliferation, survival, and migration. However, the molecular mechanisms that link PA to cell migration are largely unknown. Here, we show that PA binds to the tyrosine kinase Fer and enhances its ability to phosphorylate cortactin, a protein that promotes actin polymerization. We found that a previously unknown lipid-binding module in Fer adjacent to the F-BAR [Fes-Cdc42–interacting protein 4 (CIP4) homology (FCH) and bin-amphiphysin-Rvs] domain mediated PA binding. We refer to this lipid-binding domain as the FX (F-BAR extension) domain. Overexpression of Fer enhanced lamellipodia formation and cell migration in a manner dependent on PLD activity and the PA-FX interaction. Thus, the PLD-PA pathway promotes cell migration through Fer-induced enhancement of actin polymerization.
Of course, it is not just a matter of vocabulary, it is also having some knowledge of the system into which these terms fit. Take another example from linguistics:
quote:
It is argued that compositionality, hierarchy and recursion, generally acknowledged to be universal features of human languages, can be explained as being emergent properties of the complex dynamics governing the establishment and evolution of a language in a population of language users, mainly on an intra-generational time scale, rather than being the result of a genetic selection process leading to a specialized language faculty that imposes those features upon language or than being mainly a cross-generational cultural phenomenon. This claim is supported with results from a computational language game experiment in which a number of autonomous software agents bootstrap a common compositional and recursive language.
As opposed to the chemical abstract this linguistic one makes more sense to me, and even though I have not read (either) paper, I feel that at least I know what the second one is about. And, now, one final example from the field of math:
quote:
We explain how (perturbed) boundary conformal field theory allows us to understand the tunneling of edge quasiparticles in non-Abelian topological states. The coupling between a bulk non-Abelian quasiparticle and the edge is due to resonant tunneling to a zero mode on the quasiparticle, which causes the zero mode to hybridize with the edge. This can be reformulated as the flow from one conformally invariant boundary condition to another in an associated critical statistical mechanical model. Tunneling from one edge to another at a point contact can split the system in two, either partially or completely. This can be reformulated in the critical statistical mechanical model as the flow from one type of defect line to another. We illustrate these two phenomena in detail in the context of the ν = 5/2 quantum Hall state and the critical Ising model. We briefly discuss the case of Fibonacci anyons and conclude by explaining the general formulation and its physical interpretation.
Now, I'm not saying that some politicians and other professionals don't sometimes write poorly or with intent to bamboozle, I'm just saying a lot of what I see getting labeled as gobbledygook has more in line with the three abstracts I I quoted above.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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In other words, in your cited examples, if you want to understand, learn the jargon of the intended audience?
 
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In other words, in your cited examples, if you want to understand, learn the jargon of the intended audience?

Yep, it works well in most situations. Say, models, for example.


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Maybe, zmj. However, they are articles aimed at specialists in the field, who would be expected to know the (for want of a better word) jargon. The problem arises when the piece is written for consumption by non-specialists.

An example is this sentence from the Association of Chief Police Officers press release about proposed government legislation contained in a document known as a Green Paper.
quote:
The promise of reform which the Green Paper heralds holds much for the public and Service alike; local policing, customized to local need with authentic answerability, strengthened accountabilities at force level through reforms to Police Authorities and HMIC, performance management at the service of localities with targets and plans tailored to local needs, the end of centrally engineered one size fits all initiatives, an intelligent approach to cutting red tape through redesign of processes and cultures, a renewed emphasis on strategic development so as to better equip our Service to meet the amorphous challenges of managing cross force harms, risks and opportunities.

Roll Eyes


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A few full stops would help greatly in the ACPO item.


Richard English
 
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The problem arises when the piece is written for consumption by non-specialists.

Of course, arnie. I think my observation left open the fact that there are pieces that are poorly written. I am just not sure how much of what people call gobbledygook is intentionally poorly written. Not everybody writes well for consumption by any audience.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by arnie:
The promise of reform which the Green Paper- blablablayadayada- development so as to better equip our Service to meet the amorphous challenges of managing cross force harms, risks and opportunities.

Despite the governmentese obfuscation prevalent here as well, our local politicians call the above stuff community policing.
 
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The promise of reform which the Green Paper heralds holds much for the public and Service alike; local policing, customized to local need with authentic answerability, strengthened accountabilities at force level through reforms to Police Authorities and HMIC, performance management at the service of localities with targets and plans tailored to local needs, the end of centrally engineered one size fits all initiatives, an intelligent approach to cutting red tape through redesign of processes and cultures, a renewed emphasis on strategic development so as to better equip our Service to meet the amorphous challenges of managing cross force harms, risks and opportunities.

I really don't see what's wrong with this, other than, as Richard suggested, throwing out that semi-colon and putting in a period. Now whether the police actually intend to do what it says they will is another thing entirely. What exactly is wrong with the grammar or punctuation of this?


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by zmježd:
The problem arises when the piece is written for consumption by non-specialists.

Of course, arnie...I am just not sure how much of what people call gobbledygook is intentionally poorly written. Not everybody writes well for consumption by any audience.


Or speaks well. The GW Bush ones were especially hilarious, and, of course, were all unintentional. That doesn't make them any less gobbledygook.

In my experience of writing press releases (surely the most boring form of writing drudgery in the universe) it was usually the boss who insisted on the obfuscation after we, the PR grunts, wrote the release in plain English for its intended audience, newspaper editors, who had no patience for unclear writing. The boss, or the legal department, always thought the obfuscation made things sound more important, when, really, it only clouded the meaning.

Wordmatic
 
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The GW Bush ones were especially hilarious, and, of course, were all unintentional. That doesn't make them any less gobbledygook.

Well, the former president's speech were full of tangled syntax, infelicitous lexical choices, and slips of the tongue (malapropian in their dimensions), but I wouldn't call them gobbledygook.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by zmježd:
The promise of reform which the Green Paper heralds holds much for the public and Service alike; local policing, customized to local need with authentic answerability, strengthened accountabilities at force level through reforms to Police Authorities and HMIC, performance management at the service of localities with targets and plans tailored to local needs, the end of centrally engineered one size fits all initiatives, an intelligent approach to cutting red tape through redesign of processes and cultures, a renewed emphasis on strategic development so as to better equip our Service to meet the amorphous challenges of managing cross force harms, risks and opportunities.

I really don't see what's wrong with this, other than, as Richard suggested, throwing out that semi-colon and putting in a period. Now whether the police actually intend to do what it says they will is another thing entirely. What exactly is wrong with the grammar or punctuation of this?


What's wrong with it is that it's a document that everyone should be able to understand easily as it's intended for everyone. No one here will have any trouble deciphering it but the truth is that not everyone is as literate.

This text has a Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level of 25.5 which is ludicrously high, way higher in fact than the lvel expected of people with degrees in English.

I had to read it very carefully to follow the meaning. All the Plain English people want is that documents should be written in language that the average man in the street can reasonably be expected to follow. This one isn't.
 
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I didn't bother to do a Flesch-Kincaid analysis on this piece but I am not surprised it's so high. The problem is mainly due to the length of the sentence (there is only one); the words used aren't too tricky.

"The Sun" writes for a reading age of no higher than 14 years and I suspect that this is one of the reasons why it is the UK's most popular newspaper. Regardless of what one might think about the quality of its journalism, its writing is very accessible to most of the population.

For those who are not familiar with the journal, this is a link to an article written in typical Sun style; it has a Flesch-Kincaid reading age of 8 - which means that it should be readily understandable by an eighth-grader in the US grade-school system and, if my memory serves me, that would usually be someone of 12 to 13 years of age. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/ho...y-greedy-bosses.html

Again for the benefit of those who are unfamiliar with the paper, it gained notoriety soon after it was founded - in 1964 - by having a picture of a topless model on its third page (a very cunning ploy since that is the first and easiest page that a reader can locate, open and admire, without its being too obvious what he is salivating over). So well-known has this device become, that the expression "Page 3 girl" has become popular parlance.

The point about this is that, although some other newspapers have copied the Sun's page 3 trick, none has achieved its popularity so its success is due to something more than its having a nude girl pictured on page 3.

As has already been said, it is important to write for your intended audience and that is what The Sun does. The ACPO article is a press release and thus, one assumes, is supposed to be suitable for the press. Certainly The Sun wouldn't print it as it stands and I rather doubt that they would bother to re-write it - so it simply won't get ink in the county's most popular paper. It might get into The Times and other heavyweights but, regardless of their quality, it is a fact that they are a minority read.


Richard English
 
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quote:
In my experience of writing press releases (surely the most boring form of writing drudgery in the universe) it was usually the boss who insisted on the obfuscation after we, the PR grunts, wrote the release in plain English for its intended audience, newspaper editors, who had no patience for unclear writing. The boss, or the legal department, always thought the obfuscation made things sound more important, when, really, it only clouded the meaning.

I do so agree!

I have just been commissioned to write a release for our local papers, promoting the fundraising efforts of a local charity known as PART (Partridge Green Area Response Team). I am rather reluctant to do so since they have already produced their publicity poster - which I am supposed to use to try to get the press to write about their efforts - and have written it without my guidance - indeed, clearly without any guidance at all from people who know about publicity material. It is of A4 size and I reproduce it below exactly as it has been produced (with the same capitalisation and punctuation) - apart from the title and logo and the fact that it is aligned to the centre of the page (which I don't think I can do on this board):

PART QUIZZES

LAST THURSDAY OF MONTH ON
FOLLOWING DATES
24 SEPT 09, 26 NOV 09
28 JAN 10, 25 MAR 10

7.30pm START AT

'THE PARTRIDGE' - PARTRIDGE GREEN

TEAMS £2 PER PERSON (MAX 6 PEOPLE)

MORE INFO OR ADVANCE BOOKINGS AT 'THE PARTRIDGE'.
1St GEORGES ROAD, OR CALL 01403 (number omitted for privacy)

JOIN US FOR A FUN EVENING IN A VERY GOOD CAUSE

RAFFLE/QUESTIONS FOR EVERYONE/PICTURE ROUND

TEAM DONATIONS OF RAFFLE PRIZES WOULD BE APPRECIATED

FIRST DATE -
THUR 24th SEPT 09


Incidentally, you won't realise it, but the Partridge is not situated in St George's Road - that is the organiser's address and telephone number which I have deliberately ommited.

What should I do - risk the wrath of the organisers by pointing our the numerous deficiencies of the publicity material or risk the wrath of the editors by foisting such junk on them?


Richard English
 
Posts: 8037 | Location: Partridge Green, West Sussex, UKReport This Post
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Picture of Kalleh
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I really don't see what's wrong with this, other than, as Richard suggested, throwing out that semi-colon and putting in a period. Now whether the police actually intend to do what it says they will is another thing entirely. What exactly is wrong with the grammar or punctuation of this?
I'd disagree. I find it very unclear. Like Bob, I had to read it very carefully a couple of times. It was a press release after all. That should stimulate the public, not confuse them or put them to sleep. I know our organization works very hard on our press releases, though as WM says, the administrators have the last word with them.

However, I also agree that it all depends on your audience. The few quotes that zmj wrote were, I am sure, most understandable to those in the field. Several times I've posted here about Parse's Theory in nursing. I don't believe in this theory, so I don't know their lingo. Their writing is so obtuse that it's almost humorous to me (and many of my colleagues), but I am sure some Parse fans think it's just great. Here's an example from her theory (you have to click "Human Becoming"). I attended one of her conferences once, and it was like they were talking in code.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Kalleh,
 
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Picture of Richard English
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I know our organization works very hard on our press releases, though as WM says, the administrators have the last word with them.

Actually they don't; the journal's editor has the last word. And many, many press releases fail simply because those writing them do not know the right techniques. Press-release writing, like speech writing, technical writing, or any other kind of writing has its rules. Ignore them and your release will not work.

A simple way to check whether your release is likely to get ink is to get a friend in the target audience and ask him or her to read the release. Then ask the question, "Would you take the trouble to read this article right through if you were to spot it?" If the answer is "No", then the release is probably not right for the journal.

So far as the Parse's Theory piece is concerned, I make that a Flesch-Kincaid grade level of 12 - which is pretty high - which is pretty high but not quite off the scale.


Richard English
 
Posts: 8037 | Location: Partridge Green, West Sussex, UKReport This Post
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Picture of arnie
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This text has a Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level of 25.5 which is ludicrously high, way higher in fact than the lvel expected of people with degrees in English.

Interesting. How did you calculate it, Bob? I tried it on this site and got a Flesch-Kincaid reading ease score of -45.2 (0 - 100, higher is best) and a grade level of 44.9! That's even higher than the figure you give. Whatever the correct figure, it's plainly not understandable by the vast majority of its intended audience.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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By putting it into Word and letting it do the work for me.
 
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