Government should be accessible to the citizens it governs. The government should not use a specialized language understood only by those on the inside. It is every citizen's right to understand what the government is doing, and to achieve this government must write more clearly than it does today.
The Legal Profession
As many legal writers point out, legal writing is some of the best—and some of the worst—writing you will find. Generations of legal writers developed an archaic writing style that was hard to understand, not only for the public but for other members of the legal profession as well. Today, however, there is a strong push toward a simpler legal style that is less burdensome on the reader.
The Private Sector
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.
Efforts to write scientific material in plain language are just beginning. There is a crisis of scientific literacy in our country. As science touches more and more areas of our lives, it's important that we all be more educated about scientific issues and that scientists help by writing more clearly and with the general audience in mind.