Plain English Blog

Robotics, Mass Unemployment

concept of robots

  The concept of robots arrived along with the 20th century, as a logical progression in an increasingly industrialised and mechanised world. Pundits at the time, driven by imagination and a new landscape of endless possibilities, wove tales of how these mechanical marvels would help free us from drudgery and menial work. Since the mid-20th century many of these apparently wild tales have come to fruition with robotic technologies creating… Continue reading →

How Do You Deal With Change?

APM marketing-change

Change is the essence of capitalism. Back in 1942, Joseph Schumpeter popularised the idea that creative destruction of economies, and/or sectors of economies, was critical to prosperity and growth. He argued that progress in a capitalist system relied on the destruction of an existing economic order to make room for the next. Capitalism was, essentially, an evolutionary process of continuous innovation. Agents of this creative destruction range from the opening… Continue reading →

Your Federal Budget Plain English Jargon Buster!

federal budget plan

It’s budget night. You’re nestled into the couch armed with a coldy, a crisp chardonnay or something stronger depending on your passion/frustration for things political. Josh Frydenberg steps up to the dispatch box and unleashes an avalanche of lingo that leaves you scratching your head. My advice? Blast that budget blathering with my plain English, budget jargon buster! What’s fiscal policy? The fiscal bit means money, and literally throwing it… Continue reading →

When Stone Masonry Meets Plain English!

plain English

As a plain-English editor and writer I sometimes feel like a stonemason. Please, let me explain. Let’s enter a parallel universe (or at least one where matter can be emailed). In this world, I am regularly sent large stone sculptures that have been created by capable, smart people. The intellectual calibrating has been completed, the ideas corralled, and the strategy behind them well-considered. However, the shape remains unwieldy, unfinished and… Continue reading →

Consequences Of Erudite

apostrophe man

When it comes to writing clarity, simplicity are ideal. In their classic manual of style, Strunk and White encourage writers to ‘omit needless words’. They were the early adopters of plain English. Indeed the first step towards clarity is writing simply. Use direct sentences with simple common words.      

Plain English And Contracts – Yes The Two Can Coalesce!


Professor Joseph Kimble of Western Michigan University Cooley Law School in his book Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please: The Case for Plain Language in Business, Government, and Law, states that “guidelines for writing in plain language aren’t offered for some rarefied aesthetic purpose. They are ways to reach the ultimate goal of clarity—of readers’ being able to find, understand, and use.” And Steven Pinker, an award-winning cognitive scientist, Harvard… Continue reading →

Churchill, Einstein And The Origins Of Plain English

origins of plain English

An English plane….   Winston Churchill may be well known for the battles he waged in the name of the Allied Forces but it is the lesser known war he declared on the desecration of the English language that still rages. At the height of the Battle of Britain with war all round him Churchill barked out an edict banning bureaucratese, legalese, officialese, jargon and other gobbledygook in favour of… Continue reading →

The 8 Rules Of Plain English

8 rules of plain english, einstien

“Elegance of language may not be in the power of all of us; but simplicity and straightforwardness are. Write much as you would speak; speak as you think. Be what you say; and, within the rules of prudence, say what you are.” So said Henry Alford English churchman, theologian, textual critic, scholar, poet, and writer about 150 years ago. The same rings true today and it’s called plain English. Put… Continue reading →

Federal Budget Jargon Buster Part 1


It’s budget night. You’re nestled into the couch armed with a coldy, a crisp chardonnay or something stronger depending on your passion for the political. Smokin’ Joe steps up to the dispatch box and unleashes an avalanche of lingo that leaves you scratching your noggin’. My advice? Blast that budget blathering with this plain English, budget jargon buster!   First, here’s an apolitical explanation outlining the backdrop to this year’s… Continue reading →

Part 1: What Is A Free Trade Agreement (FTA)?

APM Trade Agreement (1)

There’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about free trade agreements (FTAs). The PM recently returned from a whirlwind Asian tour, the aim of which was to set up FTAs with South Korea, Japan and China. Team Australia, consisting of around 600 of our business best and brightest, bowed, did the sake, smiled though the spicy kimchi and told the Chinese how much we really like them…. Continue reading →