Tag: plain english

  • Big words are big, but they’re not clever.

    Big words are big, but they’re not clever.

    Some industries have an affection towards using big words. Sometimes they’re necessary (a type of lumbar surgery needs to be referred to as a laminectomy). But if they’re not, then using them can have the opposite effect. Describing familar ideas with pretencious language can be taken as a sign of poor intellegience. Below is a…

  • Plain English for international readers

    The team developing the visit visa service at gov.uk┬árecently blogged about some testing with international users over a screencast which gave them some great insights from the kind of cultures and language challenges the service faced. Something that stood out for me was this paragraph: Unsurprisingly, language proved one of the biggest areas for feedback.…

  • Speaking to be understood

    Speaking to be understood

    I had a discussion with a colleague today about plain English, and by coincidence, saw this blog post from Ben Terrett titled “Please, speak as you might to a young child, or a golden retriever”, a quote from the film Margin Call. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmHl7hKlVj4[/youtube] Ben adds some good commentary: “They’re using those terms because that’s what…