12 Sep 2008

'Brainstrain' awards given to airline and embassy

7:49 pm on 12 September 2008

Pacific Blue and the US embassy in Wellington have won little-coveted prizes in this year's Plain English Awards.

The third annual WriteMark Plain English Awards were held in Wellington on Thursday.

Among the honours are the Brainstrain Awards, which recognise poorly worded or disorganised documents.

The Pacific Blue airline won the Brainstrain Award for its terms and conditions of carriage, while the United States Embassy in Wellington won the brainstrain award for its website.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, the government's economic development agency, won a top award for good use of plain English.

Dr Neil James, the executive director of the Sydney-based Plain English Foundation, was one of the judges.

He says the scope and calibre of this year's 120 entries show widespread awareness in New Zealand of the value of plain English.