Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Value of Plain Language

Writing in plain language requires the use of a simpler word and clearer sentence construction for maximum understanding by the intended audience. Using plain language matters to people who work in bureaucracies or other technically complex businesses if they want their readers to understand and act on their message. This practice is especially useful where the message needs translation into multiple languages; the simpler the word, the easier and more accurate the translation. 

Beginning with a post on the need for plain language and ending with one on word choice, I wrote a nine-part series on the topic that gained some attention. It's worth a look by searching "plain language" on this blog.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

In Recognition of Election Day: Vociferously Obfuscating

When it's time to vote, we might think of the slogans and sound bites of incumbents and challengers. It's time for doublespeak, the term coined by novelist George Orwell in his landmark book to mean language that pretends to communicate but really confuses. 

Numerous examples of doublespeak come to mind, but two resounding ones come to mind. The first is by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, for his infamous truth isn't truth comment in defending why President Donald Trump should not submit to testifying to the Mueller investigation team. The second is by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo for calling "inartfulhis statement "We're not going to make America great again—it was never that greatin response to President Trump's mantra.

Keep seeking, dissecting, and reporting examples of doublespeak in the name of plain language. Our freedom of speech depends on it.