Plain English – To be or not to be?

20 05 2009

Lian has asked us to Google “How to write in plain english.” So what does this mean? How does one write in plain english? Let’s find out.

It’s all about being clear. Not adding so many things into what you are writing so that it’s incomprehensible. Here are some good points to remember when writing :
1.Keep your sentences short – don’t be boring with too many words
2.Use active verbs (that’s where your subject, at the start of the sentence, performs the action. Example: I walked the dog. Not, the dog was walked by me. That’s using the passive verb)
3.Use ‘we’ and ‘you’ – make the writing personal to the reader. “We should do this” or “You must fill in this form.”
4.Choose words appropriate for your reader. This means not using the word “discombobulate” when talking to a 5 year old.
5.Use lists when you need to. Like this one, it makes the points clear.
6.Use positive language. Not only will you have happy people, but nobody will be confused by a double negative,
7. Avoid using jargon and acronyms. Not everyone knows what you mean when you say: OMG FYI 2F ROTFL TTYL
8. Be concise. Find your point
9. Imagine your are writing to your reader (as I do). It’s going to make reading your writing far more interesting.

Check out this guide if you ever find yourself getting stuck in your writing. It’s very helpful.Plain English

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