Garblog's Pages

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tips & Tools: Simple Word Suggestions | Plain Language Action & Information Network

This useful list has two long alphabetical columns of words and terms, one headed "Instead of" and the other headed "Try." Here are examples of the suggestions--the list's "dirty dozen," the 12 offenders most likely to weaken your work:

Instead of -- Try
  • addressees -- you
  • assist, assistance -- aid, help
  • commence -- begin, start
  • implement -- carry out, start
  • in accordance with -- by, following, per, under
  • in order that -- for, so
  • in the amount of -- for
  • in the event of -- if
  • it is -- (omit)
  • promulgate -- issue, publish
  • this activity, command -- us, we
  • utilize, utilization -- use.

The list is provided by the Plain Language Action & Information Network (or PLAIN), a group of employees in the U.S. federal government from many different agencies and specialties. They support the use of clear communication in government writing. 

Here's the home page for PLAIN. Information and advice at the free site is available and useful to writers and editors in all fields and occupations--not just government workers.

I provide similar advice at Garbl's Concise Writing GuideMy free guide is organized in three sections that provide alternatives to overstated, pompous words; wordy, bureaucratic phrases; and verbose, sometimes amusing redundant phrases.

The PLAIN list is featured today, Feb. 7, in my daily online paper, Garbl's Plain English Paragraphs, available at the Plain Language tab above and by free email subscription.

Besides visiting PLAIN's website, you can get more information on plain language at Garbl's Plain English Writing Guide. It provides a seven-step approach to writing clearly and concisely to meet the needs of your readers:  reader and purpose, organization, paragraphs, sentences, words, design, and testing.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...