Private-Sector Progress—The Case for Plain Language
Enlightened private-sector organizations—both companies and not-for-profits—have long used plain language. But widespread use has been slow in coming. The "this-is-the-way-that-it's-always-been-done" mentality can still trump the business need for efficiency and customer focus. People don't try to be unclear; they are following the models they've always used—the academic style and examples of what people before them have written.
But the formal, inflated style is retiring—to be housed next to the horseless carriage and gas light. Throughout the modern workplace, organizations and workers are learning clarity counts. In large organizations and small, clear writing increases productivity and improves customer service. It simply makes good business sense.
Pretentious Language Wastes Time. A management communication specialist in France illustrates how unclear and pretentious language wastes management's time, even in minor ways.
The Hidden Costs of Complex Language. A workers' compensation claims-administration firm recently required all its claims administrators to attend seminars to help them write clearly. "People don't understand what we're trying to say."
Unclear Language Burdens Small-Business Owners. Even a simple request can lead to a confusing, frustrating, time-wasting process for a small-business owner.