How Much is Plain Language Worth?

Writing for Dollars book coverJoe Kimble, professor of law at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, has just finished his long awaited new book, Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please: The Case for Plain Language in Business, Government, and Law. Carolina Academic Press, which also published his earlier book Lifting the Fog of Legalese, is the publisher.

The book sets out the elements of plain language, debunks the 10 biggest myths about it, summarizes 40 historical highlights, and summarizes 50 (no less) studies on the benefits of plain language for everyone–readers, writers, businesses, and government agencies.

At the recent Clarity Conference in Washington, D.C., Joe showed some examples from the book, and they make a powerful case for the value of plain language: the business case, the government case, and the citizens’ case. One example in particular stood out: Joe showed how those who used payday lenders paid off their debt more quickly when a table comparing the cost of the payday lending with credit card appeared on the envelope given to those who borrowed money.

Annetta Cheek, Chair of The Center for Plain Language, describes the book as “the one we’ve been waiting for” and says that it “promises to be a game-changer for public communication.”

This book is important because it helps all of us in the field of plain language and information design make the case for how plain language works, why it works, and the benefits accrued to readers and writers alike.

If you order a copy soon, you can receive a 10% discount: