Plain Language Commission . Clear English Standard


  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul
  8. Aug
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec
  1.  2010
  2.  2011
  3.  2012
  4.  2013
  5.  2014
  6.  2015
  7.  2016
  8.  2017
August 2011
  1. Heroin goes dirty dancing
  2. Misleading traffic signs axed in Buxton
  3. Righting website wrongs
  4. Bloody nose for Excel Parking over bad signs
  5. Jottings
  6. ‘Fulsome’
Back to current

News & views


[30 Sept 2011] ‘Fulsome’ used to mean ‘insincere’, so if your manager gave you fulsome praise it was nothing to be delighted about. Nowadays, most people use ‘fulsome’ to mean ‘full’, and ‘fulsome praise’ to mean ‘hearty commendation’. So, what the dictionaries call ‘careful users of English’ often avoid the word altogether for fear of being misunderstood. No such scruples for Daily Mail columnist Amanda Platell, who recently gave the word an even odder meaning: ‘They should take a look at this picture of a fulsome Julia Roberts in a bikini on the beach with her husband and three children.’ Well-rounded praise indeed? [MC]

Yes, I accept the cookie. No, I decline the cookie. would like to place a cookie on your computer to help us make this website better. To find out more about the cookies, see our privacy policy