On Tuesday, October 28th I attended my third seminar from the Editors’ Association of Canada. It was called Plain Language: Building Results and was presented by Frances Peck.
Frances shared this definition of plain language: “The orderly and clear presentation of complex information.” At the time, she was going through a long list of myths about plain language – reasons that writers sometimes argue against it.
Some of the myths were that plain language is just “dummy-ing down” the content (when, in fact, it’s just a clearer way of presenting it) or that it’s boring (when, in fact, it’s much more engaging to read something that actually makes sense). In her words, documents that are difficult to understand quickly become disposable.
Writing Prompt: Are you buying into the myths that plain language “dumbs down” your message or it’s too boring? Are you puffing up your writing because you think you’ll sound smarter? Keep your message simple to keep your readers reading.