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Plain English

We’re big believers in making documents reader-friendly. That doesn’t mean dumbing them down; it just means trimming, pruning and finessing until your copy flows and reads well. It means using common, simple words where appropriate, rather than padding out your text with big words that aren’t commonly used or understood. And it means cutting out jargon, or at least explaining it.

More and more organisations and more and more government departments are adopting ‘plain English’, because they recognise that such language is inclusive. It’s also respectful: why should your audience have to work harder than necessary to understand what you’re on about??

Plain English is one of our specialties, as is writing for the ear, not just the eye. You won’t find any ‘male persons proceeding in a northerly direction’ in our work, though you might find a man walking up a street!
Words should be about communication, not obfuscation or just plain showing off!

Want to know more? www.plainenglish.co.uk
(PS It also has some hilarious examples of truly terrible writing!)

BIGGER DOESN’T ALWAYS MEAN BETTER

US President Abraham Lincoln is famous for ending slavery – and for delivering the Gettysburg Address. (It’s the American Civil War ‘Four score and seven years ago’ speech) READ IT HERE >>

Lincoln’s speech is one of the most famous in history – and it’s all of 272 words! By contrast, Edward Everett, who spoke before Lincoln, prattled on for more than two hours. Yet how many people have ever heard of him, or could quote anything from his speech??

With writing, ‘more’ can mean you’re just ‘more’ likely to lose your audience, especially when people are time-poor and when concentration spans are shrinking. Your document doesn’t need to be complicated to be clever. It doesn’t need to be long to be persuasive. The key is to identify what is your key message and what is your key aim. And that’s where fresh eyes – our eyes – can be a huge help.

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