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Plain English Blog

Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity i.e. the perils of not using plain English


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!


contract

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…. 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 →


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