Thursday, March 8, 2012

In a Jury Trial, Legalese Can Be Fatal

Using legalese when speaking to a jury can kill your chance to win. Since the jury can’t understand the words you are speaking, its members are unlikely to reach the conclusions you want them to.

The author writes: "Most professionals speak and write in language unique to their profession. That isn’t usually a problem when lawyers are communicating with lawyers (although it is less effective than plain English.) But when a lawyer needs to communicate effectively with a jury, legalese creates serious problems not only because the jurors do not know what your legalese means, but, even worse, because some of them think they know what some of these terms mean—but they don’t."

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lack of health literacy leads to hospitalizations, ED use | Healthcare Finance News

Lack of health literacy leads to hospitalizations, emergency department use | Healthcare Finance News

The authors point to three methods to close the knowledge gap. One of them is to "Simplify written materials: Medication counseling using plain language and a pictogram-based intervention has been shown to result in fewer medication-dosage errors and greater adherence, compared to standard medication counseling."

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The secret to good communication, plain and simple | Katherine Spivey,Federal Computer Week

Use short, simple words. Write short sentences. Avoid jargon.
Those are some of the writing tips taught by Katherine Spivey, plain language launcher at the General Services Administration, as she helps GSA and other agencies comply with the Plain Writing Act of 2010.

Plain Language at AHRQ

Plain Language at AHRQ:
The Plain Writing Act of 2010 requires Federal agencies to write "clear Government communication that the public can understand and use." This page explains what plain language is and how the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is implementing the Act.
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