MPs look at how government uses and misuses language

09 July 2009

The Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) holds a public hearing on how government uses and misuses language. Watch from 10.00 am

Government is often criticised for lapsing into civil service speak, ministerial jargon and not using plain English. This evidence session considers the different varieties of official language and what that says about the way government sees and communicates with the wider world.

Witnesses at 10am are:

  • Matthew Parris, Times and Spectator columnist
  • Simon Hoggart, parliamentary sketchwriter for the Guardian
  • Professor David Crystal, noted academic expert on language and linguistics
  • Marie Clair, Plain English Campaign

The inquiry looks into how well government bodies communicate with the public in day-to-day life, as well as how people within government communicate with each other. For the inquiry, PASC made a public call for people to send in their examples of good and bad official language. Some of these examples are likely to be highlighted during the evidence session.

Image: iStockphoto

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