The benefits of plain language are both tangible and intangible. The American public deserves plain language communication from its government.
- Plain language gets your message across in the shortest time possible.
- More people are able to understand your message.
- There is less chance that your document will be misunderstood, so you spend less time explaining it to people. And if your document gives instructions, your readers are more likely to understand them and follow them correctly.
Many studies have shown that plain language affects your bottom line—you can save time, personnel resources, and money. And you will give better service to your readers.
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We've assembled this short set of examples of how plain language saves time and improves compliance—to show why we should all try to communicate more clearly.
Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please is Professor Joe Kimble's compilation of bottom-line benefits of plain language, published in The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing.
Cheryl Stephens, a leading spokesperson for plain language in Canada, wrote this essay about the business benefits of plain language.
Lily Whiteman's two articles, Wanted: Articulate Scientists and Signs of Intelligible Life, outline the benefits science writers can realize by articulating science clearly and succinctly.
Rose Grotsky reported on a recent study of the benefits of plain language and its effect on organizational performance in a financial-services company. The article appeared in Clarity, a periodical devoted to plain legal language.
Marion Blakey, former Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, asked federal employees to write more plainly because it will pay huge dividends in improved customer service, safer skills, and reduced costs. Access a 4-minute video file from Marion Blakey on why plain language matters.