typewriterThis echoes what I tell people: Avoid jargon as much as possible precisely because it excludes people. Sometimes I rant about it, see Jargon doesn’t make you look smarter.

In technology it is all about the commercial case: companies who overdo the jargon lose sales to companies who can articulate ideas in plain English.

And often, the numbskulls who insist on jargon are the ones who are talking with forked tongues. It’s just the same with politics. Plain English is radical.

I’ve nothing but praise for the thinking behind the Writemark Plain English Awards. Getting rid of gobbledygook is a cause close to my heart.

Yet in a case of the cobbler’s children’s shoes, the Writemark site needs fixing.

Here is the section headed “What is plain English?” you can find this paragraph:

Plain English allows people to participate in government, commercial, legal, and leisure activities more effectively because they can understand the information presented to them. Plain English also has proven benefits for organisations that use it in their publications — including significant cost savings.

It could be plainer. And, tut tut, it uses an American-style Oxford comma in a list before ‘and’.

Let’s make that paragraph plainer:

Plain English makes information easy to understand. It means people can play a more effective part in government, commerce, law and leisure. It is also good for organisations; among other things it saves money.