NHS wins 2018 Bad Grammar Award

21 Nov|Idler staff

Jeremy Paxman Pedant Jeremy Paxman was among the judges at this year's Bad Grammar Award

We announce the winner of this year’s Bad Grammar Award

The NHS has won this year’s Idler Bad Grammar Award for some appalling gobbledegook, beating examples of confusing writing and faulty punctuation from Boris Johnson, Emma Watson, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and the BBC.

This year’s judges were Jeremy Paxman, chef Rowley Leigh, Oldie editor Harry Mount, Penguin proof-reader Beatrix McIntyre, Berry Bros. & Rudd No.3 Magazine editor Emily Miles, as well as the Idler‘s Tom Hodgkinson and Victoria Hull.

Over dinner at Berry Bros. & Rudd in Piccadilly on Monday 19 November, they discussed the year’s biggest grammatical mishaps and finally awarded the prize to the health service.

The offending passage was spotted by Theodore Dalrymple, the Oldie magazine’s doctor. It comes from the NHS’s “Improvement Provider Bulletin”, a weekly newsletter sent to doctors and other health professionals in the NHS:

“As our core group of day-to-day project contacts, we wanted to ensure you were also aware that this opportunity is now open, so that you can have conversations with the relevant people within provider organisations to decide if piloting is something they wish to support.”

“More than anyone,” says Harry Mount, “Dr Dalrymple knows the potentially lethal effect of bad grammar, having worked as a doctor for over 40 years.”

The passage contains a dangling modifier (the “as” at the beginning) and some appalling English, said the judges.

More details to follow.