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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16 February 2011

Jargon-buster free ebook

Check out our new free e-booklet - Unravelling legal jargon. It's on the homepage of our website.

I won't give you a link directly to it, because also on the homepage is a link to our 30 second survey. We'd love you to take a moment to tell us the biggest problem you see in business documents that come over your desk.

By the way, we change the homepage often, so please keep checking.

09 February 2011

Waffle equals waste

Bill English doesn't seem too impressed with government writing. In a media conference today, his message was pretty clear: 'there's too much waffle in government departments and it has to stop'.

We know that hundreds of government employees do care about clear, purposeful writing (many of them vie for a place in the annual WriteMark Plain English Awards), but I don't think many members of the public will disagree with Mr English.

That 'waffle' --- evidence of woolly thinking, complex processes, lack of purpose, and poor language skills --- chews up taxpayer dollars. Waffle equals waste. And at a time when the economic news is still somewhat sobering, we expect better.

Read the TV3 article

End of Quality Web Content workshops

(A joint message from Write and Rachel McAlpine)

For seven years Write has offered Rachel McAlpine's training workshops for web writers in New Zealand. These workshops were licensed under the Quality Web Content (QWC) brand. The time has come to terminate the QWC agreement and this year Write will develop its own face-to-face workshops in web writing.

All Rachel McAlpine's new e-learning courses carry the Contented brand. They are all online and available worldwide for groups of up to 1000.

Both companies are building on obvious strengths: Write's expertise in live training workshops and Contented's success with international e-learning courses.

We will continue to work together in many other ways as we respond to the needs of a changing market.

Information about Write's workshops:
Information about just-in-time online courses:

03 February 2011

Stormy forecast for plain language

How do you make specialised subjects accessible to a non-specialised audience? How do you convey technical information with clarity and precision, in a way that the layperson can understand?

We're often asked these sorts of questions. And it doesn't take long before someone brings up the perennial charge of 'plain language = dumbing down'.

But we think making your language clear is 'smartening up'!

A recent post by Skyler Goldman on the American Meteorological Society blog wonders if the messages about such topics as climate change are getting through. 'Making more scientific work available to the public in plain language would increase awareness.'

Read the full post here: