You may not realize it, but your favorite fiction or shows can also teach us a lot about effective government communications, and more specifically about plain language.
Posts Tagged: plain language
Simplifying language while preserving the technical underpinnings of a message can be a challenge — especially when you get pushback from your more technically-minded colleagues. Here are some things to emphasize to make sure plain language stays alive and well at your agency.
In this post, I hope to acclimate you to a few of the resources that are housed at PlainLanguage.gov so that you will learn to integrate the guidance into your own work as well as to navigate the site on your own.
Does your content or message pass the Grandma test?
The only way to test if content is usable or plain is to test it. It’s not the writer or editor–or the program manager–who determines whether content is plain or usable; it’s the user.
Which federal agencies should you look to as models of plain language? Which ones are getting it wrong and why?
You know how some people like crossword or jigsaw puzzles? Editing is the same thing.
Ever go back and forth with someone via email three or four times, only to be frustrated that they don’t understand you? So you call them and after listening to just a few sentences they say, “Why didn’t you tell me that! NOW I get it.” Write the way you would talk to the person… Read more »
The words we use in science, engineering or any other technical field aren’t familiar to the general public. So we use them — translate them, as it were — and in the process arguably lose the technical accuracy of the language we use.
I had a really great conversation with one of my coworkers the other day about the concept of “plain language” which really got me thinking about writing across all parts of government–local, state, federal… Here in the federal government, we talk about plain language–which is the idea that language should be easy to understand forRead… Read more »