When I was studying my English and History degree, I felt like writing in a ‘plain’ way wasn’t the goal. I needed to use interesting, unusual words and embrace all the grammar conventions there were to portray my story.
Then I studied journalism, and ultimately found my career in communications. This is when I truly learnt the value of plain language (but I also still love the beauty of writing in other forums).
Get your message across
Plain language or plain English is a style of writing and communication that makes sure your readers can easily what is being said, the first time.
Plain language allows people to concentrate on the message instead of being distracted by complicated language. It is clear and direct. We saw a lot of this during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Did you know…
· The average reading age of New Zealander’s is at a level of around 12 years-old
· Only 16% of New Zealand adults are considered to have high literacy levels
· People may be unfamiliar with the subject matter and related jargon
· English might not be your reader's first language
Plain language helps people:
· Find what they need
· Understand what they find
· Use what they find to meet their needs.
If you use plain language you'll:
· Get your message across in the shortest time possible
· Communicate with more people because your message will be easy to understand
Content adapted and sourced from digital.govt.nz