Join Judy Steiner-Williams for an in-depth discussion in this video What is plain English?, part of Writing in Plain English.
- So I stand on the street corner or at the mall…and ask 50 people if they know what "ROFL" means.…45 say it means "rolling on floor laughing",…four say "running on four legs",…and one says "riding on flying llamas".…Okay, 90% know the most common meaning,…so does that mean "ROFL" is plain English?…Or I explain that, "We're going forward with…our plans to implement responsive transitional projections,"…and get 40 responses of "really", six "that's nice",…and four "what?".…
Those responses, "really" and "that's nice",…would indicate 92% seem to understand,…or at least don't ask for futher clarification.…So that's plain English?…Unfortunately, understanding what plain English is…isn't as easy as asking 50 people if they understand…a word or an idea.…I like this definition.…Plain English is a style of writing in which the language,…structure, and presentation of a document…all work together to help the reader.…
A document written in plain English…is easy to read, understand, and act upon…after just one reading.…Or here's another definition:…
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.
- Understanding plain English
- Catching mistakes by reading aloud
- Simplifying sentences
- Using strong verbs and meaningful words
- Avoiding corporate jargon
- Finding the right voice and tone
- Editing flow and content
- Writing in a conversational style