Plain Language – Writing Refresher

The government has tried several steps over the past few decades to encourage agencies to issue documents in plain language. Former Presidents Richard M. Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton all issued executive orders requiring various government documents to be written in plain English, and agencies have launched their own initiatives.

But readers trying to figure out what the bureaucrats are saying still complain about wording. So freshman Rep. Bruce Braley , D-Iowa, is trying again — this time with a bill that would put the no-jargon requirement into law.

House Will Try to Make Uncle Sam Use Plain English,” CQ Midday Update, April 14, 2008
Plain Language in Government Communications Act of 2007, H.R.3548, S.2291

To enhance citizen access to Government information and services by establishing plain language as the standard style for Government documents issued to the public, and for other purposes.

Need help using “plain language?” See our 1-day course, “Writing Refresher: Critical Thinking and Writing.”

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