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International Plain Language Day

Today, October 13th, is International Plain Language Day. Every year the occasion celebrates successful efforts to communicate important information to those who need it most.

 

Too often enterprises and governments devote too little time and money to ensure their communications are working.

 

Our goal must be effective communication because, as Rolo May has said:

“Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.”

 

Long ago Blaise Pascal said “I’m sorry for writing such a long letter: I didn’t have time to write a short one.

 

Then Robert J. McCloskey, former State Department spokesman, cautioned, “I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”

 

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place,” according to playwright George Bernard Shaw.

 

In 1997, internet expert Jakob Nielsen found that by cutting copy in half, you could improve measured usability by 58%.

 

Communicate clearly through plain language, clear and simple design, focusing on the reader, and trying out your material on sample readers. Please get in touch with if you want help with plain language.