If you find your own writing boring, so will somebody
Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book Section, at the NIH Plain Language Award Ceremony.
Writing is not only alive and well in the business world,
but writing whose style reflects flair, eloquence and
a confident sense of self can springboard employees forward
in their careers. Let me be clear. There is as much poor
writing in business as in schools. Writing for teacher-as-examiner
is replaced by writing for boss-as-examiner, often a boss
who habitually plugs in the hackneyed business/legalese
phrases we expect: pursuant to, enclosed please find,
with respect to and the aforementioned. Business writing
is often characterized by density, circuitousness, voicelessness,
overuse of passive voice and non-standard English, punctuation
Christine Mowat, "A Conference with Myself on Teaching Writing," Teacher as Researcher, Faculty of Education, The University of Calgary
What's your greatest challenge in writing the Ask Marilyn
column? That's an easy question to answer. I struggle
daily with the problem of writing in a way that will be
both technically accurate and understandable. Here's why:
On any given subject, a tiny number of people are experts.
The rest of us want an explanation that doesn't require
specialized education in the subject, one that we can
understand when we read it.
Marilyn vos Savant, Parade Magazine
Gobbledygook may indicate a failure to think clearly,
a contempt for one's clients, or more probably a mixture
of both. A system that can't or won't communicate is not
a safe basis for a democracy.
Michael Shanks, former chairman of the National Consumer Council (Great Britain)