Learn to write in a way that is easily understood by your target audience: clear and straightforward, appropriate to their reading level, and free of wordiness, clichés, and jargon.
- [Voiceover] Awards are given for it. The U.S. Securities Exchange Commission has a handbook for it. A crystal mark can appear on it, and centers, campaigns, and organizations are devoted to helping accomplish it. What is the it in each of these? Plain English. Hi, I'm Judy, and in this course I hope to help you be able to use it, that it, again, plain English. Even understanding the concept of plain English can be, well, confusing. The formal definition of plain English or plain language is language that emphasizes clarity, brevity, and avoids technical language, particularly in government and business communication.
That definition may sound plain enough, and we usually recognize writing that is not clear and concise and realize when we've had a breakdown or a failure to communicate clearly. Maybe you remember that line made famous in the movie Cool Hand Luke, "What we have here is a failure to communicate." But what may be understandable to one person may not be to another, so let's delve into guidelines that will help our writing be considered plain English or plain language to the majority of our readers.
It may not get that crystal clear rating or an award, but it may save your company thousands of dollars. It may help you get noticed and promoted, all because you use it, plain English.
If you can write in plain English, you can save time, save money, and save face in communications. Start watching to learn how to make your writing more "plain": stronger, clearer, and more concise.
- Explain how to make your writing clear, concise, and straightforward.
- Recognize the average reading level for most audiences.
- Identify commonly overused words.
- Recognize how strong verbs can help avoid passive writing.
- Explore the benefits of deleting extra words.
- Define “weasel words.”