And the winner is...

amy_sm.jpg Amy Hoy: an interface designer and developer from Maryland! Slash7.com is her site. Amy wins free access to the Contented online courses. Even experienced technical writers and web managers get excited about what they learn on these courses, and so we expect Amy to have fun there too.

Amy's choice for the worst sentence on the web is Dilbertesque: 38 words long, with 10 abstract nouns. This sentence breaks my heart because thousands if not millions of people would consider it normal. Even though they don't understand it, they believe they should understand it. How did we come to this? Plain language speakers, rise up and save the world! Amy discreetly refrained from disclosing the culprit.

The result is a human change management platform that can be used to dramatically shrink the lead-time associated with large-scale implementation initiatives, reduce the resources required to manage supply chain execution, and offer real-time visibility to process risk.

Other great entries showed us just how many ways there are to mess up a sentence.

Try-hard Mr Cool:

If you hold life wide open, are an individual and make yourself stoked by doing cool sh1t every day, then your living the 4:24 lifestyle.... right mutha funkin on! [...] It is here you can get a hold of New Zealand's finest reason for not being naked [...] At the moment some sections of our site are a little bare and to pimp them up a bit we need your help!

Corporate gibberish enlivened by incongruous mixed metaphors:

Another critical capability we have imbibed over time is to be in a position to handle distributed delivery mechanisms.

Corptalk weighed down with noun strings, pomposity and verbosity:

Many years of integrated marketing experience and insight, working with leading brands and businesses tells us that having a single marketing communication discipline as the hub is no longer appropriate. Instead we will provide experienced architects and über producers that focus on shareholder value, then facilitate every aspect of your marketing activity.

Homer Simpson doh-stuff:

Use the keyword search at the top of this page to search for a document. Try simple keywords. For example, to locate documents about dogs, type 'dog'.

Attempting literary prose where a list would save us all some grief, especially the writer:

The Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (ACVM) Act (1997) is part of the wider reform of agricultural legislation agreed by Government in the late 1980s. It controls the agricultural compounds and veterinary medicines used in association with animals and plants, and is a companion measure to the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act 1996, the Animal Products Act (1999), the Dairy Industry Act (1952), the Food Act (1981), the Animal Welfare Act (1999) and the Biosecurity Act (1993). The ACVM Act replaces the Animal Remedies Act 1967, the Stock Foods Act 1946, the Fertilisers Acts 1960 and 1982, and together with the HSNO Act (1996), the Pesticides Act 1979.

This one is outside of my area of competency, but then again, in any 83-word sentence, the plot gets lost. Is this p-r-o-f-o-u-n-d, or doh-stuff in fancy dress?

When you take into account the fact that the numbers in the 8 x 8 Mercurial square add to 260 - the number of days in the Mayan sacred calendar, or Tzolkin, and also, the number of Katuns in the "macroscopic Tzolkin" of the 13-Baktun Long Count cycle (that terminates in 2012) - then we have the suggestion of a link between the Franklin 8 x 8 square, the I Ching (an 8 x 8 square of 64 hexagrams), and the Mayan calendars.

We could go on all day here. But let's finish with a couple of howlers:

Read more about the conflict between targets and safety when 34 patients died in News in Brief

and:

  • thermal under
    -weardry bags

Thanks to everyone who spotted bad sentences and entered the competition! We'll do it again one of these days.


Rachel McAlpine
Rachel McAlpine

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