New deadline for ClearMark and WonderMark Awards’ Nominations
The Center for Plain Language has extended the deadline for submitting your nominations for the ClearkMark and WonderMark awards to March 1st. There’s still time for you to help reward, rebuke, and, hopefully, change the state of language in the U.S. For the past few weeks, we have received many nominations in both categories: ClearMark represents the best of public, private, government, or non-profit writing. WonderMark, well, not so much.
If you’re still confused about what your insurance policy says, or a website left you scratching your head trying to figure out what the company does, or the new manual for your cell phone made you throw it against the wall (the manual, not the cell phone), or on the other hand, your new Social Security statement arrived and in five seconds you were able to see how much money you’ll get when you retire, or you loved the new design of your cable bill, think about this: Now is your chance.
We want to champion those companies, agencies, or organizations that are creating clear, honest, usable information. Remember the last time you had fabulous service in your favorite restaurant and told a manager how well you were treated? Didn’t you feel good heaping praise? Wasn’t it wonderful to be served with respect and civility? A well-written document is just like that employee: honest and helpful.
Of course, and unfortunately this may be the easier way to go, we also want you to nominate documents or websites that drive you crazy: those that are unclear, filled with jargon, poorly designed, or lacking the information you really need. You know: those are the documents piling up on your kitchen counter or desk because you can’t throw them away (they might be important), but you can’t understand them (therefore, they’re no good to you).
So, we’ve made nominations very easy. It costs nothing to nominate; you can do so anonymously; and the form is very easy to fill out.
Oh, and the next time you get great customer service, be sure to tell the manager!