Mangled English gem of the week
As a full-fledged subscriber to the Plain English Campaign's weekly newsletter, I try to have a ear for both notably good and notably bad attempts to use my native language. Unfortunately there are many more of the latter than there are of the former. Here's the least illuminating of the gems I heard this week. It's from yesterday's [RealPlayer file, transcription of 1:57 - 2:28] Marketplace on Public Radio International. Scott Tong set the scene:
Since 1956 when President Eisenhower signed the Interstate Highway law, the Feds have been in charge of freeways: where they're built, how they're maintained. Gas taxes pay for the roads, but revenue can't keep up with all the traffic. The White House solution: have private firms build and design new toll roads and take a cut. Federal Highway Administrator Mary Peters says they could even build toll lanes.
No surprise: it's a government official. Ms. Peters explains:
This would be taking an express lane that you would pay an increment of cost more for, but you know that you would get there in a congestion-free manner.
Translation: This would be paying extra to take an express lane without congestion.1
1How could any tollway proprietor promise "congestion-free" lanes? Dynamic toll rates might be a start, but are a long way from a guarantee. Or maybe you get your money back if you encounter congestion.