This blog shares some of our thoughts about plain language, and the latest discussions about plain English and clear design in New Zealand, and around the world.

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12 April 2013

Brain gym - contranyms are synonym-antonyms

Did your alarm go 'off' this morning before you turned it 'off'? And is anyone 'left' at your party after the others have 'left' the party?

If you love language, you probably know about synonyms and antonyms - words that are similar and words that are opposite. Did you know that words can be synonyms and antonyms at the same time? Have a look at these contranyms  in mental_floss.

10 April 2013

Think like a Tui ad!

My husband and I recently took some overseas guests on a tour of the Tui factory in Feilding. When I sent our 'Make your own billboard' effort to friends and family, plenty of laughter and comment followed.

In our circle it was a worthy ‘ad’ that spoke loud and clear. Why? We don't drink.

So the four words from us and two from Tui actually said 'David and Lynda went to the Tui factory. We know they didn't do any beer tasting because they don't drink alcohol. They wouldn't even think of it! Even the thought of them going to a beer factory is odd. But they were pretty good sports to join in the fun’. A 50 word story perfectly told in just 6 words.

Tui ads are a brilliant example of plain English  — a few short words, chosen to convey a powerful message and perfectly pitched to connect with the audience.

So ‘Think like a Tui ad’ is the new slogan at our place. You’re welcome to share it!