Plain language, defined.
Plain language is communication that brings the needs of the intended audience into harmony with those of the writer. It lets the writer get his message across, and it makes it easier for people to understand the information that is important to their lives.
Language that is clear, or plain, for one group of people may be nonsense to another. We must consider the readers' cultural context, vocabulary, and expectations, and pay attention to document design and presentation as well as writing.
You know it when you see it.
- Plain language documents are easy to read, and readers and willing to read them.
- They are easier to understand. Reading comprehension is higher than with traditional documents.
- With plain language, readers aren't put off by complicated, intimidating writing.
- They'll like you better, and have fewer complaints.
Plain Language Myths
- Plain Language is not precise enough for legal and technical documents. (FALSE)
- Plain language is only for people who don't read well. (FALSE)
- Plain language is just dumbing-down our language. (FALSE)
- Plain Language wastes time and money. (FALSE)