This blog shares some of our thoughts about plain language, and the latest discussions about plain English and clear design in New Zealand, and around the world.

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21 January 2011

Do ‘Kiwis’ really say what they mean?

On Monday, I read (and laughed with) this article from the Washington Post.

On Tuesday, a friend commented that she loved being a Kiwi (a New Zealander) because ‘we say what we mean—we don’t hide behind silly words’.

By Friday, and after a week back at work, I’m still pondering her comment. Eight years as a Plain English Specialist in New Zealand, I have to suggest that ‘saying what we mean’ hasn’t always been my experience—especially in the world of business communication.

For example ‘management has become cognisant of the necessity of eliminating vegetation from the periphery of the facility’ surely means ‘we need to weed our gardens’.

We’d love to know what you think? Or to read examples of writing you’ve seen recently.

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