I’ve been skirting the edges of the open data movement since I started this site. For those not in the know, open data is when governments and big corporations release their figures to the world – financial figures, crime figures, bus figures – anything and everything, for people to do what they want with. Some great projects like fixmystreet have […]Read more "Connecting open data and plain language"
A lot of organisations are put off plain language because of the amount of effort it seems to require. The rounds of internal sign-off, the struggle against colleagues who aren’t aboard the plain language train need real perseverance. It’s easy to give out negative advice – you mustn’t do this, you mustn’t do that , I’ve written […]Read more "Three reasons to use plain language"
Brilliant news today that researchers from the University of Leeds have come up with a new set of instructions for prescription medicines, and a great lesson on how language moves on, too. 50 years ago ‘drowsy’ could well have been a common way of saying you feel sleepy, but who uses it now? It also says something about changing attitudes – ‘do […]Read more "Plain language prescriptions"
Actually did this last week, but haven’t had time to breathe, let alone post since then! Basically, the Government has released it’s own plain English guide to their big Bill on local government and how they’d like to see it change. I’m glad there are people out there attempting this sort of thing, but unfortunately their […]Read more "Plain English guide to the Localism Bill"
I’m sorry, the title lies. Not just once, but twice. Why? Because there’s only five things you have to do to write plainly, and you don’t have to remember much at all – in fact, it’s better to forget. Because once you’ve got the hang of headings, bullets and the difference between passive and active voice, all those […]Read more "Ten tips to remember about writing in plain language"
Help the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (that’s BIS for short, though I never know whether that’s pronounced like an early 90s sugar-pop-punk group or ‘biz’, anyway) make the way we deal with debt right here in the UK that little bit better by telling them what you think of their ideas. Listen to the […]Read more "How would you make the way we deal with debt in the UK better?"
The Office of Fair Trading is consulting on how to protect shoppers online – so we all spend more, of course! But while they’re there this could be a great opportunity for everyone from shoppers to security experts to have their say. This summarises the main issues. Doing well so far Now, we’re already pretty good at buying things online. Lots […]Read more "Protecting shoppers online"
At the moment, if you don’t live in the UK, and you come here and get treated at an NHS hospital, sometimes you’re supposed to pay for it. You can get registered at a GP surgery, you don’t have to pay for emergency treatment, and for urgent things like giving birth you will be treated without having […]Read more "Are we getting our money’s worth from health tourism?"