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The Plain Language Programme

50 Redundant Phrases To Avoid

50 Redundant Phrases To Avoid by Mark Nichol 1. Absolutely certain or sure/essential/guaranteed: Someone who is certain or sure is already without doubt. Something that is essential is intrinsically absolute. A guarantee is by nature absolute (or should be). Abandon absolutely in such usage. 2. Actual experience/fact: An experience…
9 Easy Ways To Simplify Your Writing

9 Easy Ways To Simplify Your Writing

Avoid Wordiness Don’t say: On a daily basis    Rather say: Daily  Don’t say: In order to    Rather say: To  Don’t say: The majority of   Rather say: Most  Don’t say: Take into consideration   Rather say: Consider Don’t say: At this point in…
5 Reasons To Use Plain Language

5 Reasons To Use Plain Language

No business should waste resources producing documents that are dense and difficult to read. People don’t have the time or energy to wade through gobbledygook. When we communicate in plain language, misunderstandings disappear and the reader actually reads the information and uses it. Staff and…
What Is Plain Language?

What Is Plain Language?

Plain language involves making sure that documents are written in the most direct and clear way so that readers can easily understand and use the information. We must: Remove jargon and unnecessary official, legal or bureaucratic wording. Replace lengthy, complex sentences with concise ones. Pay…
6 Reasons To Embrace The Power Of Stories

6 Reasons To Embrace The Power Of Stories

Storytelling for Business People forget statistics and names and events, but they never forget stories. Why are stories so powerful? Pamela Rutledge offers these six reasons in her blog on the power of storytelling. Why Stories Are So Powerful: Stories have always been a primal form of…
The Right To Information In Plain Language

The Right To Information In Plain Language

The Consumer Protection Act in South Africa has changed business and industry. It has even made provisions for documents to be written in clear and understandable English. In terms of the Act, consumers have nine basic rights. 1. Right to equality in the consumer market…

How To Lose An Election In Plain Language

In Scotland in 2007 the government changed hands because of unclear instructions on how to complete ballot papers. Experts predicted trouble but politicians pressed on regardless. Many voters misread the instructions on the ballot papers. Some voters completed the ballot papers as they had in…
Why Plain Language Is Popular

Why Plain Language Is Popular

Plain language works. People prefer to understand what they’re reading. Communicating in language that is understandable shows respect to your reader. There is a misconception that plain language is the process of “dumbing down” language. This is not the case. The message is not less…
How To Write Terms And Conditions In Plain Language

How To Write Terms And Conditions In Plain Language

Do you understand the terms and conditions of your cell phone contract? The clarity in legal documents can be improved by: Using pronouns, for example: I, we, you. Removing ‘doublets’, for example: “rules and regulations” or “accepts and agrees”. Removing extra words. Using shorter sentences.…
8 Factors That Influence Plain Language

8 Factors That Influence Plain Language

The National Credit Act, Companies Act and Consumer Protection Act have some guidelines for Plain Language. These will determine if your document is in plain language. They are: The content of the document. What does the document say? The level of comprehension of the document. What…
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