PSM ASSIGNMENT “PLAINLANGUAGE IN GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION” Ranjith P 16397085(Section A) [email protected] 8129227224 Plain Language in Government AdministrationIntroductionPlain language (also called plain writing or plainEnglish) is communication our audience can understand the first time they reador hear it.The “Plain Writing act” defines plain language as:Writing that is clear,concise, well-organized, and follows other best practices appropriate to thesubject or field and intended audience.Language that is plain to one set of readersmay not be plain to others.
Written material is in plain language if ouraudience can: Find what they need Understand what they find Use what they find to meet their needsThere are many techniques that can help us toachieve this goal. Among the most common are: Logical organization with the reader in mind “You” and other pronouns Active voice Short sentences Common, everyday words Easy-to-read design features Whyuse plain language?We’re all busy people. We don’t want to wastea lot of time “translating” difficult and wordy documents.
Plain languagewriting saves time. If we save time, we save money. Plain language is goodcustomer service and makes life easier for the public.Plain language means readers understand ourdocuments more quickly.
Readers call less often for explanations. They makefewer errors filling out forms. They comply more accurately and quickly withrequirements. If your customers don’t understand your documents, you may haveto: Answer phone calls Write explanatory letters Write an explanatory document LitigateThough no one knows the total cost of poorcommunication, the information we do have suggests it’s high. Writing in plainlanguage isn’t easy, but it pays off in positive results.BenefitsThe American public deserves plain languagecommunication from its government. The benefits of plain language are bothtangible and intangible: 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 languageaffects your bottom line—you can save time, personnel resources, and money. Andyou will give better service to your readers Examplesof Plain LanguageUse LessWater · BeforeThis program promotes efficient water use in homes andbusinesses throughout the country by offering a simple way to make purchasingdecisions that conserve water without sacrificing quality or productperformance.· AfterThis program helps homeowners and businesses buy productsthat use less water without sacrificing quality or performance. Guidelines for writing Plain Language Write for our audience Organize the information Choose words carefully Be concise Keep it conversational Design for reading Follow web standards Test our assumptions WritingGOVT Policies & Procedures in Plain Language The first major push toreform bureaucratic writing in US came in 1998 during the period of president Clinton.His memo declared that the Federal GOVT’s writing must be written in Plain language.
Richard Nixon wants theFederal register, which publishes regulations and notices to be written inlayman’s terms. Jimmy Carter orderedthat GOVT regulations are to be easilyunderstood by those who are required to comply with them. But Clinton GOVT wentat plain language in a big way. Around theworldGovernments and private organizations aroundthe world support plain language.
Many of these programs have been in place formuch longer than our effort here in the United States.· ‘Plain Languageinternational’ includes professionals who plan, write, design, and createcommunications projects to better serve the needs of the public, clients,customers, students, and staff. Their site provides free plain languagearticles, writing tutorials, Web links, news, networking opportunities,professional support, and an e-mail discussion group.· ‘Clarity’ is a worldwide group of lawyers andinterested lay people.
Its aim is the use of good, clear language by the legalprofession.· Sweden has one ofthe oldest programs. It’s managed by the Ministry of Justice.
Even bills headedto the legislature go through plain language editing. In fall 2004, arepresentative of the Ministry of Justice spoke at the kickoff of Mexico’s newplain language program: · The United Kingdom has government and privatesector support for plain language:o Plain English is mandatory for all of the writing onGOV.UK o ‘The plain Language Commision’ accredits publicdocuments and websites with the Clear English Standard logo and providestraining in plain language.o The Plain English Campaign is an independentpressure group fighting for public information to be written in plain English· In Australia, plainlanguage has become a commercial success. Demand for clear language hasincreased, and law firms that provide plain language legal products are findingsuccess.
Two leading sources of plain language legal expertise are cleardocs andplainlanguage.org. · The EuropeanCommission has created a guide for writing clearly in severallanguages.· Portugal’sgovernment has announced a new program, SIMPLEGIS, with the goal ofsimplifying its legal system and make it clearer, allowing people andbusinesses have more certainty, security, and clarity in the rules that applyto them.