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Plain English campaign news articles

FCA worry

Last summer, we highlighted a call from the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) for banks and financial organisations to use plain English.

While some took those suggestions on board, many didn’t. And with well-publicised and worrying recent changes at the FCA, there’s every chance old bad habits could be set to return.

Read more: FCA worry

The case for plain English

The independent Inspectorate of Prosecution in Scotland has told prosecutors that their reliance on legal jargon confuses the public.

Using a report on complaints handling and feedback, the Inspectorate highlighted jargon-filled responses to complaints.

Inspectors demanded that the Crown Office’s Response and Information Unit (RIU) respond using plain English. They also suggested that the RIU avoid using terminology unless they’re prepared to explain it.

Read more: The case for plain English

Large degree of small-print difficulty

Research by consumer group Fairer Finance has found that a third of insurance policy small print is only understandable to degree holders.

The research suggests that none of the 280 documents tested could be understood by anyone with a reading age of 11. An estimated 16% of UK adults have a reading age of 11 or less.

Fairer Finance’s report goes on to say that failing to understand financial jargon costs UK consumers £21bn in a year – £428 for every adult.

Read more: Large degree of small-print difficulty

Plain English Day 2015

December 1 is a big day for Plain English Campaign.

On that date, we once again celebrate Plain English Day. And, this year, it’s also when we’ll announce our 2015 award winners.

So not only will it be a day of following events centred around all things plain English, it’s also when we’ll reveal our Foot in Mouth, Golden Bull and Kick In The Pants award winners, among many others.

Read more: Plain English Day 2015

Unreadable academic writing

We’ve recently received a number of emails and tweets about really poor academic writing. There are few meaningful excuses for the kind of writing in question, but several likely reasons behind it.

So why is academic writing often so unreadable? As our university students return for another year, here are a few suggestions.

Firstly, it’s down to laziness. Trying to make incomprehensible waffle read simply would take too much time. In other words – in academic circles, writing is unclear because it can be. Who is going to point out that it reads badly if it sounds clever? So bad habits continue, and academic writing continues to be full of ‘placeholder’ terminology. In other words, academic writers lean on the same old jargon rather than write something difficult and genuinely insightful.

Read more: Unreadable academic writing

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