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Home All Things P 10 reasons executives should embrace plain English
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PEOPLEDr Neil James
COMPANIESPlain English Foundation
PARTNERSPlain English Foundation
TAGS Communications, culture change, Public engagement, Plain English, Plain English Foundation, plain language, Dr Neil James, writing, stakeholder relationships
Apart from the organisational benefits that plain English brings, there are personal reasons every CEO or government executive should embrace writing reform. Here’s the top 10.
Let’s start with the most immediate benefit: plain English frees up time.
How long do you spend wading through briefs, submissions or board papers? If they were written in plain English, they’d be clearer, one-third shorter and take half the time to read.
Surveys have found many executives leave work earlier each day after a plain English program — one went as far as to say “I got my life back!”.
We are bombarded with around five times more information today than we were 30 years ago, which has greatly increased the cognitive strain on our brains. The traditional public sector writing style only worsens this information overload by forcing you to sift through unnecessary verbiage for each nugget of meaning. Which of these two consumes less brain power?
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Dr Neil James is executive director of Plain English Foundation, which has trained more than 16,000 public sector staff in plain English and redeveloped thousands of documents and templates. Neil regularly promotes plain English and ethical communication in the media and at @drplainenglish. (© Plain English Foundation 2016. You must attribute us if you quote from this work.)
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