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Category: Plain language

Why It’s So Hard to Stop Writing or Talking Like a….

In The Sense of Style, his most recent book on language and writing, psychologist Steven Pinker argues that all people, and especially highly educated professionals, suffer from “the curse of knowledge.” He defines the curse as “a difficulty in imagining what it is like for someone else not to know something that you know.” Pinker Read More >

Posted on by Cynthia BaurLeave a comment

Promote Plain Language

Many of us speak plain language every day, but we know plain language isn’t often the everyday language of government, business, law and healthcare.  The Plain Writing Act of 2010 requires federal executive branch agencies to use plain language communication with the public. How can large, complex organizations like government agencies make plain language everyday Read More >

Posted on by Cynthia BaurLeave a comment

Plain Language is Essential in Public Health Emergencies

This week, Dagny Olivares from CDC’s Emergency Communication team blogs about plain language and public health emergencies. September is National Preparedness Month. Across the country, it’s a time to take stock of how prepared we are to withstand and respond to emergency situations that affect us, our families, and our communities. At CDC, we make Read More >

Posted on by Cynthia Baur5 Comments

Clear, Main Messages – We all Need One

The main message of this week’s post is that every health material needs a clear, main message. The power of a main message is that your readers or listeners can almost immediately say, I know what this is about. When you state your main message clearly AND put it at the beginning, you help your Read More >

Posted on by Cynthia Baur3 Comments

Plain Language Policies Can Generate Organizational Changes

How many of you work in organizations that have plain language policies? If you work for a federal executive branch agency, the Plain Writing Act of 2010 requires you to use plain language in public communication.  The law says that federal agencies must train their staff in plain language and report annually on plain language Read More >

Posted on by Cynthia Baur1 Comment