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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Information with clarity: 'Tis a gift to be simple

Writes Judy Knighton, from the Write firm in New Zealand:
With the fallout from financial organisation failures still very much in the news, we've been pleased to see the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) speaking out about plain language.
We were among 62 individual and corporate submitters on the FMA's draft guidelines for disclosure documents, which proposed plain language as a way of ensuring that investment statements meet the needs of investors. We agree. Plain language helps readers:
  • find what they need
  • understand what they find
  • use what they find to meet their needs.
 Despite the concerns of some plain-language criticis, Knighton believes that complex ideas and concepts can explainin plain language:
I embrace the concept of a document that is simple to read. The ideas and concepts may be complex. The document itself will probably be very sophisticated. But all of that sits on the writing and production side of the communication. To the reader, the document is simple. It takes cleverness to be simple.
For more information, also see Garbl's Plain English Writing Guide.

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