Thursday, May 19, 2011

Plain Writing Act: New Federal Law Will Create Technical Writing Jobs

The government will soon hire lots of technical writers by October thanks to the new Plain Writing Act. The act forces the government to write in plain English to simplify government publications. There appears to be an all new federal government style guide produced by the law.

The Associated Press writes about the new law:

The federal government is rolling out a new official language of sorts: plain English.
That's right: Pursuant to regulations promulgated thereunder and commencing in accordance with a statute signed herein by President Barack Obama, the government shall be precluded from writing the pompous gibberish heretofore evidenced, to the extent practicable.

That sentence contains 11 new language no-nos.

Obama signed the Plain Writing Act last fall after decades of effort by a cadre of passionate grammarians in the civil service to jettison the jargon.

It takes full effect in October, when federal agencies must start writing plainly in all new or substantially revised documents produced for the public. The government will still be allowed to write nonsensically to itself.


I have always heard government publications are written on an eighth-grade level. What's this say about public education?

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