For some, losing weight, saving money, or winning the lottery may be easier. But help is at hand thanks to the federal government’s Plain language site: http://www.plainlanguage.gov/
For instance, there’s a nifty one-page poster courtesy of the Census Bureau that gives 10 steps to plain writing with examples, such as “Use everyday phrases and words,” “Define uncommon terms,” and my favorite, “Proofread.”
The poster “Why Use Plain Language?” also provides a brief list of words and the plain language substitutes – such as “try” instead of “attempt” and “use” to replace the militaristic-sounding “utilize.” For more examples, go to: http://go.usa.gov/G2o
The poster is one of many free resources available on this site. Free training is available to federal offices. There are independent plain language trainers – such as Press Here – who offer training to the private and non-profit sectors.
If you want to arrange training through Press Here, please send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And a Happy New Year to you all!