RE: Friday funnies... with a techwr-l tie-in

Subject: RE: Friday funnies... with a techwr-l tie-in
From: "Katherine Hinchey" <khinchey -at- houston -dot- rr -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 18:49:58 -0500

Yes, there is a Plain Language, or Plain English, initiative. It's been
discussed a few times on this listserv, but not too much

In 1998, U.S. President Clinton sent a memorandum on Plain Language in
Government Writing to the heads of executive departments and agencies.
This includes the National Institute of Health, the Office of Management
and Budget, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of
Health and Human Services (especially for HIPPA Privacy Notices), and
the Federal Aviation Administration. The memo included guidelines such
- Use common, everyday words
- Use "you" instead of "one"
- Use active voice
- Use short sentences
The memo directed all recipients to use plain language in all new
documentation, and to revise all old documentation by January 1, 2002.

Also in 1998, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found (in Reno v.
Walters) that the Immigration and Naturalization forms were so confusing
that they violated a person's rights to due process.

In Canada, the Plain Language Initiative is taking hold with the
Canadian Bankers Association (for mortgage documents), the Department of
Finance (for loan disclosure documents), the Province of Nova Scotia,
the Public Works and Government Services, the Treasury Board of Canada
Secretariat, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food in Ontario.

In Europe, the European Commission is promoting a Plain Language

In the UK, the Brent Council, East Sussex County Council, Hampshire
County Council, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Salford City
Council, and others are adopting Plain English initiatives.

In Australia, the Plain English initiative has been adopted by the
Australian Office of Parliamentary Counsel and the Department of
Education, Science and Training.

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."
Albert Einstein.


-----Original Message-----
From: bounce-techwr-l-212409 -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-212409 -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Geoff
Sent: Friday, June 24, 2005 7:43 AM

OK, I smiled. <g> The tie-in: Is this some kind of "clear speech" or
"simple English" initiative in California? Any techwhirlers being
affected by this?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - --
Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca


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Friday funnies... with a techwr-l tie-in: From: Geoff Hart

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