Part 1: What is plain language?
Part 3: How to write in plain language
We are used to seeing plain language in government publications and information. Think of all the information we received daily for the Covid-19 pandemic. It was clear and easy to follow.
To ensure that all information written for the public is always clear easy to understand, the Plain Language Act was passed in New Zealand in October 2022. On the New Zealand Legislation website, the explanatory note says that the act “promotes the use of plain English in official documents and websites. Comprehensible information from government organisations is a basic democratic right. Plain language must become the standard for all official public and private communication in New Zealand.”
However, government departments are not the only organisations that should use plain language. Plain language can be used in communication with a company’s staff and clients, or with the general public.
There are benefits of using plain language to the reader (your clients and potential clients), and to your business or organisation.
The benefits of plain language
By using plain language writing in your business communications, your reader will be able to focus on the message rather than have to pick through the style. This benefits the reader, and if the reader is able to understand the message more easily, this then flows on to benefits for your business.
The benefits of using plain language:
Besides the practical benefits listed above, using plain language to ensure that your reader understands your writing is a sign of respect. Your reader is more likely to feel important to you if they can easily read your information.
If your reader is engaged and can easily understand your writing, they are more likely to engage with your business.
In short, plain language is good customer service, good for your business, and makes life easier for the public.
If you are writing a document or book in plain language and this all sounds too overwhelming, I can help.
I am a copy-editor and proofreader based in New Zealand. My business, Clearlingo Editing and Proofreading, caters to all writers business documents and non-fiction books. I can discuss with you where your writing is at and what you need to do next.
For more information on how I can help you make your writing shine, please contact me.
I would love to hear from you.
Hi, I'm Marja!
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