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Language Policy, Diversity and Usage

Research influences the way UK government departments communicate with public

Awareness of the importance of transparent communication in both public and private contexts, and of language diversity in our society has risen drastically. World-leading research on language policy, diversity and usage, conducted at Bangor University by Prof David Crystal since 2000, has significantly contributed to this transformation. Crystal was involved in co-developing the world’s first targeted online advertising technology, ‘iSense’. Today, iSense indexes billions of impressions across 11 languages to provide real-time data services in the online advertising world.

Crystal’s research has significantly shaped the way UK government departments use language in communicating with the public via the so-called “plain English campaign”. Crystal’s commitment to the public appreciation of language diversity is exemplified by the 2010-11 British Library exhibition, ‘Evolving English: one language, many voices’, which he co-curated. It proved to be the British Library’s best-attended winter exhibition ever:

“What this outstanding exhibition so clearly demonstrates is how there’s no such thing as pure English. It’s an ever evolving language, influenced by social, cultural and historical changes, continuously incorporating words from other languages and happily discarding words it no longer has use for.” Sarah Turner, Turner Ink copywriting services, London