Dealing with the “dumb down” dinosaur, or how to enlighten the ignorant without losing your job.

Posted on May 5, 2014 in Advocacy, Government, Healthcare, Legal, Plain Writing Laws

It continues to shock me that in the year 2014 I still hear people say, “Oh, you want to dumb down my writing” when the subject of plain language comes up.

My reaction is…

Health design challenge could help VA to make the grade on Plain Language

Posted on Feb 25, 2013 in Advocacy, Healthcare, Plain Language Blog Articles

The US Government recently invited designers and developers to redesign the patient health record. The goal of the Health Design Challenge was to improve the presentation and usability of the record currently used by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and other groups. Over 230 entries were submitted. The winning entries used dynamic content, informative […]

Promoting Plain Language at CDC – Checklist and messaging

Our colleague, Cynthia Baur, plain language lead at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just posted some new tools you might find useful.  They can help large, complex organizations like government agencies make plain language everyday practice. We all know how easy it is for broadcast emails, memos and other notices to get lost […]

The cost of fine print? About $3K a year.

Posted on May 11, 2012 in Advocacy, Finance, Legal, Plain Language Blog Articles

If you think America is shifting to a culture of transparency, unfortunately, you’re wrong: consumers are drowning in more fine print and byzantine disclosure language than ever before.  Bank contracts and product manuals commonly bloat to hundreds of pages, in type as small as 1/6 of an inch. Who reads this stuff? Almost nobody. And as this news clip from […]