The first time I heard a guy in a suit say, “We need to open the kimono” I screamed like a genteel Victorian and averted my eyes. I hadn’t heard this bit of business jargon before and was expecting the worst. Apparently, this colorful phrase simply means to “reveal information.” Phew. No kimonos were literally opened. (Look. It’s fun to use “literally” accurately.)
I happen to love interesting and unusual phrases.Continue reading the article Briefly fun, then quickly annoying business phrases
My office has a break room with the usual appointments: tables, chair, refrigerators, vending machines, microwave, Keurig, electric teakettle. And a bulletin board.
I was pleased to see the bulletin board because there’s always so many interesting things there. Some of us bring back menus from local restaurants, some others post current events, others bring in things like the card for the mobile bike repair shop on 18th Street.Continue reading the article Homepage real estate …or, Battle of the bulletin board
Health professionals have the challenging job of translating the jargon they learned in professional school to everyday language that people can understand. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has help in the form of the AHRQ Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit, Second Edition.Continue reading the article Getting doctors to use plain language and other ways to improve patient understanding
No, my headline isn’t just click-bait. This piece really is about Donald Trump.
People in the plain language community have been watching this presidential candidate closely. Specifically, the way he speaks.
It’s been noted that Trump communicates at a lower reading grade level than other candidates. Trump speaks to voters at about a 4th grade reading level. By comparison, Jeb Bush and Hilary Clinton come in around an 8th grade level. Bernie Sanders is at the High School level.Continue reading the article Donald Trump, plain language and some huuuuuge implications
I’ll never forget my first ClearMark Awards.
My business partner, Deanna, and I had travelled to D.C. to attend the 2012 Clarity Conference and decided to stay for the Awards. As writers and clarity experts, we looked forward to learning more and seeing the best new work coming out of the plain language world. But after attending countless conferences and awards ceremonies, I had modest expectations.Continue reading the article Unite with clarity champions at the ClearMark Awards