Does your organization rely on readability formulas? A research review by Dr. Karen A. Schriver—“Plain Language in the United States Gains Momentum: 1940–2015”—takes a hard look at readability formulas. Schriver finds that readability formulas are often unreliable and invalid methods of evaluating text quality.
Okay, raise your hand if you like to win.
Now, keep it up if you like to be recognized for your great work.
And, keep it up if you LOVE filling out long forms and writing up a check request for the entry fee for an awards program for which your odds of winning are just slightly better than the average Powerball drawing.
A friend on Facebook recently posted, “I just got an email from Blue Cross urging me to ‘use my benefits’ because the end of the year is coming. Honestly have no idea what to make of that.” Especially since after two emergency room visits, “I have super definitely ‘used my benefits’ this year.”
Writing for health insurance customers is tough.
I love helping scientists translate tech talk into plain language. Often the editing process goes smoothly, but sometimes, they have reservations. The fears I hear most often involve dumbing down the information, or, oversimplifying it. “Those are common complaints,” says Dr. Lisa DiPinto, Senior
Scientist at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, and one of my colleagues, in the Office of Response and Restoration.
Information flows freely and quickly in our modern world. With so much news that we receive every day it is important to keep things simple. Plain language plays the key role in that regard. It uses clear sentences and basic phrases, helping people to understand the message instantly.
President Trump’s recent announcement, via a series of tweets, of a new “policy” regarding transgender individuals serving in the military resulted in questions and concerns raised on many fronts.
In response to the President’s tweets, the Joint Chiefs issued a message recognizing that there were “questions” about the announcement and assuring that, “There will be no modifications to the current policy until the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidance.”