Arguments in Favor of Plain Language
There have been several traditional arguments against plain language—plain language is dumbing down, plain language can’t be used with technical subjects, plain language oversimplifies, plain language is not precise.
By now, however, the arguments against plain language have been refuted. This page links to some of the key articles and other items supporting using plain language.
External links are shown with a "".
It's the law!
A landmark article from 1995 supporting plain language is Joe Kimble’s Answering the Critics of Plain Language, from The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing. We provide both a synopsis of the article and a link to the entire document .
In his 2000 article The Great Myth that Plain Language is not Precise , also in the Scribes Journal, Joe Kimble addresses the criticism that using plain language prevents you from being precise.
In Signs of Intelligible Life , written in 2000, Lily Whiteman shows us that many major institutions in this country favor plain language as a communication style.
In her second article on this subject, also from 2000, Wanted: Articulate Scientists , Lily Whiteman describes how more and more scientists are learning how to reach wider audiences. The article outlines the benefits you will get if you use a plain style.
Gwynne Kostin, a federal employee and blogger, weighs in on the need for plain language to advance President Obama's goal of transparency.
John Klotsche, an attorney who was a political appointee in IRS during the Bush administration, is a strong advocate for plain language, especially in tax matters. Read his blog, "plain tax talk."
Bob Brewin, who writes for the Government Executive (and blogs at What's Brewin', wrote a post lamenting the lack of plain language in the Department of Defense.