Yesterday I found myself in the unusual situation of defending the person who tweets on behalf of RCT Council when someone made fun of a typo in a tweet. Now we all make the occasional typo – I am certainly not immune to that, as I am sure anyone who reads this blog will know.
However, whilst such human error is acceptable, what I have more difficulty with is the grammatical content of some of the press releases that come from RCT Council. The department behind these is a substantial one, and indeed one we have identified as being a prime contender for cutbacks, although the Labour administration seems to disagree.
Just to illustrate the point, here are a few examples from recent articles which have appeared on the RCT Council website. (Errors and corrections are in red.)
On the subject of the Nos Galon races.
The 2013 Nos Galan Road Races| take place on Tuesday, December 31, and is on course to break all records, with the biggest field of runners in its 55-year history. (races are)
So each runner entering has a double challenge – the most important is to raise as much money as possible for charity. If successful they will receive a 23" LED TV with built in DVD player, along with a brand new Kindle. (are we talking about one person which is indicated at the start of the sentence or more as indicated by the use of the word 'they'? )
Secondly we want to see the most outstanding fancy dress costumes that will help brighten up this special night even more. Last year’s winner was retured school headteacher Alun Griffiths, of Glenboi, Mountain Ash, who won with his customised Mr Grand Slam costume (ok, a typo but doen't anyone proof read?)
The Nos Galan Road Races fun starts in Mountain Ash town centre at 4pm with the children’s races. This will be followed by an elite race and 5k adult fun run and a spectacular fireworks display. (The word races is plural therefore it should read These will be followed by.)
A piece advertising walking and cycling trails in RCT was a master class in how not to write an article.
The Council has as extensive network of walking and cycling trails that thousands of people enjoy per year. (should be each or every year.)
The opportunity to learn more about the history of the County Borough began by following designated trails and walks that will take you to different sites where Blue Plaques have been unveiled. (begins)
For further details visit www.visitrct.co.uk |where you will find a variety of trails aimed at walkers and cyclists and drivers! where you will find a variety of trails aimed at walkers and cyclists and drivers!
(Bad bit of cut and paste!)
The Carers' pamper scheme had comment from Cllr Mike Forey, Cabinet Member for Partnerships and Adult’s Social Services at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council.
(Just which adult is he responsible for, and who looks after the rest of them? I do hate misplaced apostrophes.Especially as in this case there was no need for one at all, Adult Social Services would suffice.)
Good news that this year you can just put your real Christas tree outside on collection day and the Council will take it away
So instead of trying cut them up and put them in the black bag rubbish, they can now be collected on recycling day as part of the Council’s commitment to reduce waste sent to landfill. (Missed a 'to' there. Also have to ask why people would be cutting them up and putting them in black bags when they should be classed as garden waste?)
Recycling has never been easier, with an efficient weekly collection service, free recycling bags easy-to-access community recycling centres, food recycling, collection of larger items, and an ever-increasing list of items that can be placed in the clear bags.
(Apart from this being a rather complicated sentence, there seems to be a random use of commas. There should be one between 'bags' and 'easy', and there is no need for one between 'items' and 'and.')
Good news for local businesses on the procurement front.
Buyers from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, Amgen Cymru, Cwm Taf Health Board, Coleg Gwent, RCT County Borough Supplies, Amgen and RCT Homes met with many potential suppliers looking for an opportunity to bid for their business in the sixth event of its kind held in the county borough and more than 80 businesses in the area attended.
(And pause for breath. No further comment is necessary I am sure.)
This rambling form of writing appears elsewhere too, such as in this piece about the Carol Service.
The service was led by the vicar of St Catherine’s, the Rev Peter Lewis. Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Choir performed three songs, while the readings were undertaken by The Mayor, Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Paul Cannon; The Lord Lieutenant for Mid Glamorgan Mrs Kate Thomas, Nicola Matthews, Mayor’s Chaplain Father Silvio Briffa and the Council’s Group Director of Community and Children's Services, Ellis Williams.
(How confusing is that, and why the random use of a semi-colon half way through?)
Someone in this department really needs to take a creative writing class, or at the very least learn some basic rules of grammar. Talk about verbal diarrhoea.
Good news indeed of a grant to a local charitable organisation.
The successful funding bid include support to employ a new Business Manager whose role is to promote the newly established social enterprise, gain new customers and volunteers as well as to purchase necessary IT equipment.
(Included / includes support. As for the purpose of the grant, then is it to employ a new Business Manager and purchase IT equipment, or is it to employ a Business Manager whose role will include purchasing IT equipment? Not altogether clear is it?)
Now some people may think I am just being picky or finding fault for the sake of it, but the PR department is large and costly, we have a right to expect a degree of professionalism. The Council also claims to value education, and their education dpeartment puts great store, allegedly, on literacy. What example are they setting here?