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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Recognizing the best and worst in clear communications | Center for Plain Language

The Center for Plain Language recognized the best and worst examples of clear communication during an awards ceremony April 16 in Washington, D.C. The nonprofit organization presented its 2013 ClearMarks and WonderMarks awards to government, nonprofit and private organizations.

The ClearMark Awards are given to the best plain-language documents and websites. A panel of international experts judges the entries following a strict set of criteria. Revised documents were judged on not just the quality of the final document but also on the quality of improvement.

The March of Dimes won the ClearMark Grand Prize for its Thinking About Your Family’s Health brochure. Here are other ClearMark 2013 winners.

WonderMark Awards are given for the least usable documents. According to the center, they are the sort of documents that make us shake our heads and say: “We wonder what they meant. We wonder what they were thinking.”

The 2013 Grand WonderMark Award went to Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. for a The New Yorker magazine ad. Here are other 2013 WonderMark winners.


The Center for Plain Language wants government and business documents to be clear and understandable. It supports people and organizations that use plain language, train those who should use plain language, and urge people to demand plain language in all the documents they receive, read, and use.


The center's website provides more information about using plain language. You also can learn more about it at my website, Garbl's Plain English Writing Guide.
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Articles on the plain-language awards are featured today, April 18, in my daily online paper, Garbl's Plain English Paragraphs, available at the Plain Language tab above and by free email subscription.

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