New International Plain Language Standard being Introduced
A major challenge in reading information online is the use of language. With new terms and acronyms it can seem like things are getting more complicated all the time. Fortunately on 20 June a new international plain language standard will be released which can help make the web an easier to understand place.
So if we want to make our writing easier to understand, here’s a few suggestions. Firstly, avoid double negatives as these can cause confusion. Secondly, avoid contractions if possible so instead of saying ‘can’t’ we can say ‘can not’. We should also try to simplify the use of tense so each sentence is clear about whether we are talking about things in the past, present or future. We should also try to define any acronyms or abbreviations, or avoid them altogether if possible. These are just some of the tips coming in the new standard and hopefully it will make a difference in our ability to understand what is written online.
Dr Scott Hollier