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Posts tagged "Technical communication"

Plain Language: a paradox for technical communicators

Giving presentations to small groups is a tradeoff. The audience get a talk from a relevant speaker, we all get to meet new people, and the speaker gets—in this case, a bottle of Te Atarangi Pinot Noir! I like that. But I also enjoy the excuse to think through a new aspect of contemporary communication.

This time, I strode through seven decades of the plain language movement, matching developments in the wide world with developments in my own language.

Naming a moment when the plain language movement was born is arbitrary. Aristotle's Ars Rhetorica? Wycliffe's Bible in the vernacular? George Orwell? I arbitrarily chose the US Admiral who noted problems of unreadable gun manuals in World War II, since that was in the 1940s, when I also was born.