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Plain English campaign news articles

Charity Membership of Plain English Campaign

Your charity’s message should be as clear as possible. If it isn’t, your chance of reaching the widest possible audience will be seriously affected. This could in turn mean you miss out on potential donations and the chance to fully realise your aims.

For charities, every donation is crucial. With this in mind, you might want to think about displaying your commitment to clear communication, get help with producing clearer information and take advantage of our services at reduced rates.

Read more: Charity Membership of Plain English Campaign

2013 awards nominations

The 2013 Plain English Awards are almost here, but there’s still time for you to send us your nominations. If you have any great examples of not-so-great communication, written or spoken, or if you want to salute an individual or organisation for their plain-English efforts, we’d love to hear from you.

Send your suggestions to us by 1 November and we’ll consider them alongside all our other entries. For a list of award categories, please visit our awards page. The results will be announced on Wednesday 4 December.

New site design

We have re-designed our site. We hope that you will find it easier to use, with a few new features.

If you have any problems with the site, please email webmaster@plainenglish.co.uk.

Want to learn to write badly? Then go to university!

The multi-syllabled pomposity and obscurity of much academic writing, particularly in the social sciences, often attracts derision and damnation. The contempt has generally come from outside the campus. But here’s a surprise: Michael Billig, professor of social sciences at Loughborough University no less, has written an insider’s demolition of his colleagues’ writing. His Learn how to write badly: how to succeed in the social sciences rounds up the usual suspects: jargon, acronyms, passives, and using five pound words when five pence ones would do (but, strangely, neglects the long sentences and page long paragraphs). In particular, he condemns the constant turning of verbs into nouns: ‘beware of long words ending in –ization and –ification’ and ‘write about people not things’ Billig wisely advises. He quotes some of the worst academic writing and, sometimes, names the perpetrators. Billig tears apart the arguments put forward in defence of the ‘academic style’ and exposes the inhumanity and subconscious elitism that often underlies it.

Read more: Want to learn to write badly? Then go to university!

Plain English Campaign declares the death of local democracy

Plain English Campaign officials are currently reporting on a wave of protests regarding attempts at consultations on local development plans.

‘From Dundee to Derbyshire, we are receiving complaints from people who feel their right to a democratic voice has been taken away’ says campaign founder Chrissie Maher.

Read more: Plain English Campaign declares the death of local democracy

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