Plain English Campaign Announces its Foot in Mouth Awards for 2007

Readers of our Blog know that at MBA Mission, we don’t believe that there are “tricks” that candidates can use to get themselves into top-schools. Instead, we help candidates identify and articulate their own unique stories, using simple but compelling language to seize the attention of the MBA Admissions Committees.

Well, in England the Plain English Campaign defends many of our principles, by tracking jargon and gobbledygook and handing out awards at the end of the year to those who try too hard and fumble their words. Recently, the Plain English Campaign announced that its Foot in the Mouth Award for 2007 would go to Steve McClaren, England’s National Soccer Coach, who said of star-player Wayne Rooney, “He is inexperienced and he’s experienced in terms of what he’s been through.” George W. Bush, who stated, “All I can tell you is that when the Governor (Schwarzenegger) calls, I answer his phone,” was this year’s runner-up. 

Past winners have included:

Alicia Silverstone: “I think that Clueless was very deep. I think it was deep in the way that it was very light. I think that lightness has to come from a very deep place…”

Richard Gere: “I know who I am. No one else knows who I am. If I was a giraffe and somebody said I was a snake, I’d think, ‘No, actually, I am a giraffe.”

What we appreciate about the Plain English Campaign is that they are not a vigilante squad, attacking people for disobeying the most arcane rules of grammar. Instead, they are dedicated to raising awareness of language and to simplifying unnecessarily complex expression. Indeed, returning to the MBA world, many candidates stumble when they try to write too much and sound too sophisticated. We prefer it when candidates select stories that showcase their respective talents and then use straightforward language, always allowing the stories themselves to do the work.

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