Plain English & Plain Langauge, Writing & business

Plain English and Plain Language in the News – March 2020

Read about plain English and plain language

Every Monday, on my Facebook page, I post a story about plain language or plain English in the news to remind everyone that plain language is a ‘thing’, and we have to constantly be reminded about it and what other people are doing about it.  In short, the more we hear about it, the more we are going to be persuaded to use it ourselves.
Therefore, at the end of every month, I’ll summarise all of those stories here for your convenience. If you have a free 20 minutes or so, these articles are well worth reading.

A great way to see how plain English can help you is to read about practicing lawyers who use it and are benefitting in their careers because they use it. Here, Jared Zola, partner at Blank Rome LLP, writes about how clear comms, and the ability to explain things in plain English, has helped him in his career. Find the article by clicking here: INSIGHT: Clear Communication Connects With Clients.

“During an epidemic, clear public communication is crucial. It helps the public to stay informed of life-saving measures, and maintains confidence in the government.”
Sometimes, great advice for better writing and communication doesn’t just have to come from the main doctrine writers: Garner, Kimble, Adams etc, but can indeed come from people who just want to understand what is going on, in places which you’ve probably never heard about.
In light of this, today’s plain English writing advice comes from a Buddhist nun in the small town Spokane, Washington in the US.
Thubten writes about the need for better comms about coronavirus, and makes some excellent suggestions – particularly in her first three points.
If you’ve got 5 minutes to read this letter, I strongly recommend that you do. Read it by clicking here.

Two different reasons to use plain English – &

Today, I have a look at two different articles that discuss the same area of business, but two different reasons as to why plain English should be used. However, the underlying reason to use plain English in comms is the same. Click here to find out more.

Business Jargon? v

There is such a thing such as ‘business jargon’. It is the type of neo-language that might have been created by executives in the world of business, and is widely criticized if you use it outside of the business world context. Indeed, if you read this article from Why It’s Time To Ban Corporate Speak For Good, business jargon is even criticised for use *in* the workplace. You may or may not disagree.
Certainly, this OP-ed from the Financial Times: Why ‘garbage language’ should not be banished from workplaces does disagree, arguing that jargon is a natural consequence of certain work environments and has the function of making communication faster – almost like the concept of a ‘term of art’ in legal language.
What do you think? Is there a place for jargon, or should ‘plain English’ be preferred in all environments?

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