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NEWS
By Joan Walsh | January 7, 1997
THE NATIONAL debate over ebonics is far more coded and hard to translate than black English, its purported topic. Here are four truths behind the controversy that nobody wants to talk about in plain English.Black parents and educators envy -- and increasingly resent -- the millions of dollars going to Asian and Latino bilingual programs. As immigrant populations grow, these programs are eating up a growing share of bare-bones urban school budgets. While the media framed the issue as Black English vs. White America, the ebonics controversy was more a symptom of rising inter-minority tensions, a product of our zero-sum approach to race relations.
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NEWS
By JANET GILBERT | September 30, 2007
To make me feel better, can we all please agree that chopped fresh basil could easily be mistaken for chopped fresh parsley? Why, you might even say the two green herbs are indistinguishable. Except that parsley tastes like lawn clippings, whereas basil tastes more like leafy yard waste. Granted, the contestants on Top Chef probably could tell the difference with a simple glance, but these people have spent years differentiating between "I Can't Believe it's Not Butter" and "clarified butter."
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NEWS
By Jeff Griffith | August 4, 1991
The Editor glowered. He frowned. He fulminated.The Editor spake:"Someone hath been reading thy column.""No way! 'Tis an incredible, baseless falsehood," retorted the Dead Politician. "Nobody readeth this rag. And if anybody were fool enough to read it, surely never would they have the fortitude and persistence to suffer the editorial page. They'd be subjected to both of us. Nay, that passeth belief.""But I have proof," The Editor smirked."Surely thou sayest so; but thou hath lied to me oft before, ohVast One."
FEATURES
By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | April 28, 2000
In popular music, English is the world's lingua franca, the language every singer needs to know. Not so in classical music. In this world, Italian, French, German, and even Latin -- a dead language! -- are more likely to be heard than English. Some singers even complain that English should be avoided altogether, because it doesn't sing as well as Italian, French or German. "There is some truth to that," admits baritone Jubilant Sykes. Even so, he isn't worried that everything he's singing with the Baltimore Symphony this weekend is in English, because the pieces are so approachable.
BUSINESS
By Jerry Morgan and Jerry Morgan,NEWSDAY | April 5, 1998
Josiah Fisk is a translator whose work is read by millions of investors who never heard of him. Known as Si Fisk, his specialty is translating an obscure and unreadable language called prospectus-ese into plain English.It is a skill that will be more in demand now that the Securities and Exchange Commission has required fund prospectuses to use plain English as a first language, not an accidental afterthought.Plain English is just one of several prospectus changes investors can expect when they order mutual funds, though it will take some time for both plain English, and what one SEC official called better English, to wend their way through the regulatory system.
BUSINESS
By Knight-Ridder News Service | May 9, 1993
Finally, reading a credit report doesn't require a degree in hieroglyphics.TRW Credit Services, one of the major credit-reporting firms, has produced a document that eliminates the numbers and codes that have confused many consumers."
NEWS
By JANET GILBERT | September 30, 2007
To make me feel better, can we all please agree that chopped fresh basil could easily be mistaken for chopped fresh parsley? Why, you might even say the two green herbs are indistinguishable. Except that parsley tastes like lawn clippings, whereas basil tastes more like leafy yard waste. Granted, the contestants on Top Chef probably could tell the difference with a simple glance, but these people have spent years differentiating between "I Can't Believe it's Not Butter" and "clarified butter."
NEWS
By The Kansas City Star | October 20, 1992
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As if Joseph E. Stevens Jr. doesn't face enough problems becoming chief judge of the federal court in Kansas City -- such as building a new federal courthouse -- he's trying to bring "plain English" to the law.In plain English, "absolutely null and void and of no effect" would be replaced by "void.""A Kansas corporation" would do just fine for "a corporation organized and existing under the laws of Kansas."Some say it can't be done. Not by lawyers, who have raised construction of pagelong sentences of gobbledygook to an art form.
BUSINESS
By Bill Atkinson | January 19, 1997
STOCK MARKET regulators unveiled proposed rules last week that would require companies to write prospectus documents -- the frequently dense paperwork describing a sale of stocks or bonds -- in another language: plain English. The Securities and Exchange Commission wants companies to use plain English in the cover page, summary and risk factors sections of stock, bond and mutual fund prospectuses. Eventually the SEC wants to expand the rules to annual and quarterly reports and other filings.
NEWS
By MARCIA MYERS and MARCIA MYERS,SUN STAFF | February 10, 1998
Joseph Kimble settled into an airline seat not long ago and tried to make sense of the emergency exit instructions. On the plastic card before him: an impenetrable 28-point list of federal rules and directions.Kimble took the card home and translated it into five simple sentences. Most passengers probably wouldn't bother, and he fears that could cost someone's life someday.A law professor, Kimble is among a cadre of professionals around the country who have spent years lobbying business and government to throw out gobbledygook and communicate in "plain English" - short sentences, everyday words and no legal or highly technical jargon.
BUSINESS
By Charles Jaffe | January 30, 2000
A FEW YEARS ago, the mutual fund business was struggling to write paperwork and prospectuses in plain English. These days, fund companies appear to be working on their Spanish and Chinese. It's all part of a quiet expansion of the fund industry that has forced virtually every major fund firm to look at how it serves the minority community, and how it can best attack what is expected to be a growing niche of investors. The result is a positive change, specifically the growth of educational and prospectus materials written in foreign languages.
ENTERTAINMENT
By MICHAEL STROH and MICHAEL STROH,SUN STAFF | March 29, 1999
It's one small step for Microsoft, one giant leap for muddled Netizens everywhere.The software giant has released Internet Explorer 5.0, the latest version of its free Internet browser in the hope of getting the better of rival Netscape on the browser battlefield. After putting the new Explorer through its paces, I can say this much is clear: IE5 is the kind of browser you can take home to Mother -- or anybody else you know who hasn't mastered the art of Web surfing. It's lively. It's well-mannered.
BUSINESS
By Jerry Morgan and Jerry Morgan,NEWSDAY | April 5, 1998
Josiah Fisk is a translator whose work is read by millions of investors who never heard of him. Known as Si Fisk, his specialty is translating an obscure and unreadable language called prospectus-ese into plain English.It is a skill that will be more in demand now that the Securities and Exchange Commission has required fund prospectuses to use plain English as a first language, not an accidental afterthought.Plain English is just one of several prospectus changes investors can expect when they order mutual funds, though it will take some time for both plain English, and what one SEC official called better English, to wend their way through the regulatory system.
NEWS
By MARCIA MYERS and MARCIA MYERS,SUN STAFF | February 10, 1998
Joseph Kimble settled into an airline seat not long ago and tried to make sense of the emergency exit instructions. On the plastic card before him: an impenetrable 28-point list of federal rules and directions.Kimble took the card home and translated it into five simple sentences. Most passengers probably wouldn't bother, and he fears that could cost someone's life someday.A law professor, Kimble is among a cadre of professionals around the country who have spent years lobbying business and government to throw out gobbledygook and communicate in "plain English" - short sentences, everyday words and no legal or highly technical jargon.
BUSINESS
By Bill Atkinson | January 19, 1997
STOCK MARKET regulators unveiled proposed rules last week that would require companies to write prospectus documents -- the frequently dense paperwork describing a sale of stocks or bonds -- in another language: plain English. The Securities and Exchange Commission wants companies to use plain English in the cover page, summary and risk factors sections of stock, bond and mutual fund prospectuses. Eventually the SEC wants to expand the rules to annual and quarterly reports and other filings.
NEWS
By Joan Walsh | January 7, 1997
THE NATIONAL debate over ebonics is far more coded and hard to translate than black English, its purported topic. Here are four truths behind the controversy that nobody wants to talk about in plain English.Black parents and educators envy -- and increasingly resent -- the millions of dollars going to Asian and Latino bilingual programs. As immigrant populations grow, these programs are eating up a growing share of bare-bones urban school budgets. While the media framed the issue as Black English vs. White America, the ebonics controversy was more a symptom of rising inter-minority tensions, a product of our zero-sum approach to race relations.
BUSINESS
By Charles Jaffe | January 30, 2000
A FEW YEARS ago, the mutual fund business was struggling to write paperwork and prospectuses in plain English. These days, fund companies appear to be working on their Spanish and Chinese. It's all part of a quiet expansion of the fund industry that has forced virtually every major fund firm to look at how it serves the minority community, and how it can best attack what is expected to be a growing niche of investors. The result is a positive change, specifically the growth of educational and prospectus materials written in foreign languages.
NEWS
By Candy Thomson | April 15, 1992
When you spend a couple of days with military people and the folks who make the weapons, you get sucked into a world of funky acronyms, bewildering titles and strange activities.People are called POOD and QMOW and SUBLANT and NAVSEA.They do things like "break pennants" and "hoist ensigns" and "open VLS tubes." (Navy personnel did all of these things in about five minutes Saturday at the commissioning of the nuclear submarine USS Annapolis.)And they talk about nasty things like Harpoon missiles, ADCAP torpedoes and Tomahawk cruise missiles -- all items I assume could blow me to Pluto or beyond.
BUSINESS
By NEWSDAY | September 29, 1996
If you want to know what risks you run in your mutual funds, but you can't translate the legalese and securities-industry jargon in your prospectus, you might want to read one of John Hancock's new prospectuses. Even if you are not buying one of their funds.They'll tell you what risks you are taking. Boy, will they tell you.In one of the more startlingly and refreshing disclosures, John Hancock's new-form, simplified, multifund, plain-English prospectuses list 15 or 16 different kinds of risk, depending on the type of funds; define them clearly; then name and explain the various securities in the funds, and which risks they engender.
NEWS
By Mike Bowler and Mike Bowler,SUN STAFF | June 19, 1996
WOULD A SCHOOL board adopt a policy knowing full well that it would make the board a national laughingstock?We wondered that recently when the Clark County (Las Vegas), Nev., school board eliminated traditional letter grades on report cards and replaced them with words such as "emerging" and "extending."Clark County students who used to get D's and F's are now characterized as "emerging." Top students -- the old A students -- are "extending." Those in between are no longer C students. In Las Vegas, they're "developing."
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