What you missed if you weren’t at the ClearMark Awards on May 12 – and why you shouldn’t miss it next year.

Posted on May 22, 2015 in Center News, Events

photo of banquet ClearMark 2015 You attended the 2015 ClearMark Awards Event at the National Press Club? That’s great!

What – You didn’t get there this year? Oh, no! Look at what you missed.

Reception and networking

You missed

  • a once-a-year opportunity to catch up with more than 100 fellow plain language enthusiasts during the cocktail hour
  • lively conversations about success in the midst of bureaucracy
  • a chance to see walls of autographed photos of some of the world’s most important (and beautiful) people during your stroll to the ballroom and
  • connecting with old friends and making new ones.

Steven Pinker

You missed our very special keynote speaker who made us all laugh when he talked about

  • AWFUL = Americans Who Figuratively Use “Literally.”
  • zombie nouns
  • this inept metaphor, “No one has yet invented a condom that will knock people’s socks off.”

Quiz show

You missed our first quiz show – complete with noisemakers – lively enough that even Steven Pinker was jumping out of his seat trying to answer questions.

And seeing Joanne Locke and her sidekick, Sandy Hilfiker, trounce fierce competition by answering the most questions with skill and cunning! 


You missed seeing

  • inspiring finalists whose work reminds you that the plain language movement is driving real change
  • the first Spanish ClearMark Winner!
  • the always entertaining WonderMark nominees, and
  • LIVE Tweeting – which was allowed for the very first time.

And as we left, you missed:

  • debates over who got the tulips at the table, and
  • the chance to bring home our new swag to impress your colleagues with (snazzy pens and post-its) plus plain M&M’s and, of course, the noisemakers!

And finally, you missed knowing about Vooza and Zuula (Confused? you might have to Google these two.)

Quotable quote: “The ClearMark Awards are better than the Grammys! (And Kanye West didn’t interrupt anyone.)”

About the Authors:

Center board members and our Executive Directors contributed to this blog: Susan Kleimann, Brian Berkenstock, Deborah Bosley, Julie Clement, Joanne Locke, Steven Rush, Meghan Walker, DeeDee Moxley, Rebecca Gholson