Posts by Cheryl Stephens

Integrating Plain Language in Your Corporate Culture

Integrating Plain Language in Your Corporate Culture Integrating plain language into your workplace culture means managing change. Some people may not immediately support or easily adapt to change. But, support, enthusiasm and commitment are all important aspects of becoming a plain language workplace. So how do you get people to make a long-term commitment to…

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Two ways to introduce and support plain language in your organization

Give people the motivation The importance of integration Adopting plain language can be a moderate change in direction or a massive switch in your methods. Either way, you will be asking colleagues to change how they do their work. To gain support integrate plain language considerations into existing methods. And promote its benefits to staff, customers, and investors.…

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Make your plain language program work

Cheryl Stephens Building and keeping plain language support The importance of integration Plain language can be a moderate change in direction or a massive switch in your methods. Either way, you will be asking colleagues to do what they do differently. The best approach to get support is to integrate it into existing methods and…

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Writing for everyday: What to do instead of readability scores

Write for everybody: What to do instead of chasing grade levels Most people misunderstand the intended use for readability scoring by computer algorithm. Teachers and textbook publishers assign grade levels so that students are using materials that improve their language skills. The material is meant to be challenging. But when selecting learning materials for other…

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Who are you talking to with jargon? The cook or the customer?

Is your jargon just shorthand or is it inconsiderate? When someone criticizes the use of jargon, other people may feel threatened. Or they’ll say: It is just shorthand in our field. The problem is that people newly working in your field or students preparing to enter your field don’t know what it means. Many people…

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Start Your Spring Cleaning with a Plain Language Project

What to consider when planning a plain language project by Cheryl Stephens Keeping your project plans clear When drafting a project plan, it is important to keep it clear, concise and coherent (logically organized) so that contributors can coordinate their efforts. Project plans succeed when there are clear instructions, visible benefits, and recorded results. Here…

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Set Your Style

Writing and Editing with Style: Sheets, Guides, and Manuals A corporate message may be crafted by a writer and reviewed by an editor or supervisor. Everyone saves time and effort when writers and editors have agreed in advance the use of a style sheet, style guide, or style manual. Each contributor brings a purpose and…

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What you mean to say is not what your customers are hearing.

A survey released by Invesco in January shows that your language matters and it affects how customers feel about retirement investment plans. The survey sought the views of millennials, Generation X and boomers. Turns out everyone prefers personalized, plain English and positive, short descriptions. “Our research found that many participants find their retirement plan to…

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The Public Speaks: Make it plain

Christopher Trudeau’s latest research, The Public Speaks, Again: An International Study of Legal Communication shows us that using plain language is not only what people want — it’s what workplaces need to be more productive. We asked Gael Spivak, current president of Editors Canada, to tell us more. This is the second-stage study, isn’t it?…

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Stop Over-Thinking It: No-Brainer Day Feb 27

Joseph Fung, skritswap’s lead investor, shares our aim to improve information equity. Last year, he affirmed his confidence: “This is one of those no-brainer technologies that needs to exist – not only can it save billions in wasted costs, but it can make life better for millions of people around the world.” By definition, a…

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Family Literacy Day

Family Literacy Day came on Monday. Did it escape your attention? Literacy challenges are too important to your organization to ignore. People tend to think of literacy as something that you either have or you don’t have, but in recent decades we’ve come to understand literacy as a range of skill levels. Literacy is a…

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Tell it to me straight

January 9 is Word Nerd Day To celebrate Word Nerd Day on Janaury 9, 2019 (today) here’s a story from my childhood compared to the new way of writing in the business world today. As a kid, I read the dictionary. My dad bragged to my teachers about that. He was impressed by people with…

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Exploring “Jargogle” on Trivia Day

Shedding some clarity on trivia for Trivia Day, which is on January 4th. The day celebrates the entertainment value of trivia. We understand trivia to mean information of little value. Celebrating today are the people who remember these tidbits of information and enjoy sharing them. The original meaning of the word trivia contrasts with its…

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