Plain Language Matters to You
Welcome to the launch of the blog from the Center for Plain Language (www.centerforplainlanguage.org). We are a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase the usefulness and efficiency of government, legal, and business documents, so that the people who use those documents can quickly and easily find understand information and use that knowledge to take action.
The Center’s activities support four primary goals by
- advocating for plain-language use, education, and training within government, the private sector, and academia
- conducting and disseminating research that identifies best practices and that supports plain-language use, education, and training
- educating and equipping leaders in government, business, and academia with the information and tools they need to achieve their plain-language goals
- supporting and strengthening plain language use by harnessing the energy of plain-language practitioners and advocates and by coordinating activities that promote the use of clear communication
We will bring you up-to-the-week news about what’s happening with plain language legislation. Currently, several bills in Congress (in committee or recently passed) require the use of plain language (credit card reform, mortgage reform, the new health care bill, etc.). But perhaps the most important bills are the following:
Plain Writing Act of 2009 (Senate Bill S574) http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:S.574:
Plain Language Act of 2009 (House Bill 946) http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.946:
Both bills would require that all documents that explain benefits and/or services be written in plain language (well, that’s my short version of the bills). Imagine the time and money, not to mention frustration and stress, we all would save if we could understand the information we read every day.
A few days ago, I heard the CEO of a major manufacturing company recently list as one of her seven core values of leadership: “Simplify. Complexity Causes Confusion.” The Center supports the use of plain language because citizens have the right to understand information that affects our lives.
So, we hope you will come to this site, read about plain language efforts, join the Center
comment on the blog, and engage in citizen dialogue to improve communication for us all.