An arresting case for clarity …

Brit Police Chiefs Suspected of Word Crimes

My thanks to professional writer and editor Richard Ketchen for sharing the missive below in his recent Exchanges e-newsletter.  The 102-word sentence, excerpted from the Association of Chief Police Officers’ response to the British Government’s green paper on policing, is a top contender for this year’s Golden Bull Awards competition (sponsored by Plain English Campaign).  Need I say more?

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.”

Marie Clair, spokeswoman for Plain English Campaign says, “I fell asleep halfway through that sentence and didn’t get round to pondering the meanings of ‘centrally engineered one size fits all initiatives’ or ‘amorphous challenges’. Is that wrestling with a jellyfish, maybe?”

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