Plain English Blog

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…. 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 budget…. Continue reading →

Part 1: What is a free trade agreement (FTA)?

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 →

Part 2: The nuts-and-bolts of our FTAs with South Korea and Japan

Last week we looked at the definition of a free trade agreement (FTA), and the PM’s recent FTA negotiations with South Korea, Japan and China. Currently, the FTA deals have been sealed with South Korea and Japan, and China is pretty close. These three economies together represent over 50 per cent of our exports so access to them through FTAs will be crucial for us if we plan on being… Continue reading →

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 posited 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 up of new markets to revolutionary… Continue reading →

Inflation basics: What, why, where, how, etc.

Inflation is the increase in the general price of goods and services. As it rises, every dollar in your wallet/purse/man bag/imagination buys you less. For example, if the annual rate of inflation is 2%, then in a year’s time a $1 widget will cost $1.02, on average. Australia’s inflation is measured by the quarterly Consumer Price Index, often just referred to as the CPI. To get this data, the Australian… Continue reading →

When Moore’s law doesn’t always mean more

Let’s try something a little out of left field. It may sound a tad incongruous but bear with me. It could have a greater impact on your future finances than you might imagine possible. Because today we’re going to look at Moore’s law and its possible impact on your job, and your kids’ jobs. Moore’s law states that the number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated… Continue reading →

The sixth wave of innovation

Posted by Andrew Pegler on May 04, 2011 There’s a brave new world coming and it wants your leftover pizza. We live in a wasteful world. But imagine if all this waste was not only useful but a driver of the global economy. Well you’ve just glimpsed the future, according to the writings of James Bradfield Moody and Bianca Nogrady in The Sixth Wave. Since the Industrial Revolution, the economy… Continue reading →

They were the daze my friends…

Andrew Pegler – 21 January 2011 Sorry folks, the pre-GFC halcyon days of low interest rates are gonski. Wayne and crew may be getting on their high horse and making it easy to transfer your business between banks, but they won’t have a significant effect on the cost of borrowing. Cost of borrowing? Our banks have to pay interest rates on the money THEY borrow, from the big banks overseas…. Continue reading →