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Plain English campaign news articles

Switched on to plain English

Plain English Campaign are proud to announce that uSwitch.com is the first comparison website to achieve our Internet Crystal Mark. The Internet Crystal Mark is recognised worldwide as a standard that a website has clear language, and is accessible and easy to use.

Plain English Campaign have been fighting for over 30 years against the use of unnecessary jargon and gobbledygook in communications. With a growing trend for public information to be presented through globally accessible online services, using clear language becomes even more important.

Read more: Switched on to plain English

Clear information gives confidence and control

‘Self-help’ and ‘do-it-yourself’ kits can be ideal, particularly in times when money is tight. But any kit is only effective if the result is reliable.

The recent Which? comparison of self-test kits demonstrates the varying quality and clarity of instructions and information. Without access to a health-care professional, the user is left with only the information in front of them. The experts who provided feedback on the kits said that the main problems lay with missing and unclear information. What isn’t said is often as important as what is said. And what is said needs to be clear and understandable the first time it is read.

Read more: Clear information gives confidence and control

Plain English at Halfords

Plain English Campaign welcomes a rare opportunity to applaud the motoring industry today when Halfords Autocentres launch their plain English ‘Glossary of garage speak'. This is the first guide of its kind in the motor industry to receive a Crystal Mark from Plain English Campaign.

The guide is a direct result of research carried out for the independent garage network. The research showed a high level of confusion linked to mechanical jargon and highlighted the need for simple and unpatronising language when dealing with motorists.

Read more: Plain English at Halfords

Gobbledygook on the BBC

On Monday 7 March at 7.30pm, BBC Inside Out East Midlands will be full of gobbledygook and jargon as BBC presenter John Holmes travels to Derbyshire for an update on the story of Plain English Campaign.

Read more: Gobbledygook on the BBC

Big steps to overcome the small print

Plain English Campaign are applauding the consumer contracts team at the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), the regulatory body for traders throughout the UK. The OFT's year-long study of unclear terms and conditions in consumer contracts covered a range of customer complaints about things such as contracts for gym membership and the small print involved in buying football clubs’ season tickets.

The findings from this year-long study revealed some new information, such as consumers being put off by the length of long-winded contracts. However, it confirmed our well-known fears about the unfairness of small print.

Read more: Big steps to overcome the small print

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