Plain Language Primer: So What Are the Big Guys Afraid Of?
Writing business documents? Think plain language. It’s the only way to get the right response from the reader, no matter who that person might be: a guy on the street, a close friend, or a senior vice president with four Ph.D.s.
Naturally, plain language is steeped in controversy, mindless and ludicrous as that controversy might be. I discovered this firsthand as part of the White House initiative on plain language under the Clinton-Gore administration. Among other tasks, I trained thousands and thousands and thousands of employees on plain language, and heard innumerable opinions in the process. The experience was similar to jumping through a minefield—plenty of safe, friendly ...