It’s March Grammar Madness at Healthwise. We’re mad about clear communication—and isn’t that the primary purpose of grammar?
So, just like the hoops fans who get into the college basketball spirit, we celebrated National Grammar Day (March 4) with a bracket. It’s all about sustaining the commitment to plain language—and scoring points with employees.
I love my wife. I tell her so several times a day. When we wake up, on the phone, when we get home from work, before we drift off to sleep. The day just doesn’t feel complete without it.
On Valentine’s Day, however, we won’t do anything special. No office deliveries of long-stemmed red roses. No Hallmark greeting card with ready-made sentiments to express what I am (apparently) incapable of expressing on my own. And no making reservations at a hoity-toity restaurant weeks in advance to dine on an overpriced prix fixe menu.
I’ve spent the last few months working on the 2014 Federal Plain Language Report Card. The Report Card evaluates whether U.S. Federal Departments comply with the Plain Writing Act of 2010. This year we also analyzed writing samples against best practices for both writing and information design.
I work at a science-based regulatory agency. It can be tough to sell plain language to people who have graduate degrees in an area that I’m not a specialist in. The fact that I’m working with government scientists can make the pitch even harder. I’ve got two types of jargon and socialization to break through.
But one of the best things about working with scientists is that they trust expertise and evidence. If you give them evidence to prove your point, they tend to listen.
Each year, hundreds of passionate plain-language professionals from all over the world converge on a cool city to share the latest findings and advancements in our field. Vancouver, D.C., Lisbon, Sydney. You get the gist.
This November, a number of Center for Plain Language members and leaders traveled to Antwerp and Brussels for a joint conference hosted by IC Clear and Clarity.