October 13. Today is International Plain Language Day. I wasn’t sure what this was – so I had to look it up. It is what is says. Plain and simple. It’ s a day to promote the use of plain written language that a reader can easily understand. Apparently Canadian and US laws require the use of plain language in federal communications. I’m not joking about this. Really. Ever try to read an income tax manual? Clearly that government department didn’t get the memo on Plain Language.
Some other examples of not-so-plain language outside the government- the teeny tiny ads at the bottom of car ads. Actually, a LOT of ads have teeny tiny print that even if you COULD read it, you wouldn’t know what they are saying.
Legal documents are FAR from plain.
Food labels. They are getting better. But you need a dictionary to read the ingredients on some dog food bags. Hint – those are probably NOT the foods you should be eating.
And humans often do NOT use Plain Language in SPEAKING when it comes to us dogs. For example, my human will say “I won’t be long” when she goes out somewhere. But that’s not EXACTLY plain, because “not long” can be anywhere from a half hour to 7 hours. Just use plain language. Say “I will be gone for 5 hours.” I mean it’s not like we are going to change our plans for the day and do something based on the amount of time you’ll be gone. Just be plain. We can take it.
So I am going to be use plain language in my blog. My valediction will not be to “acquire an agreeable twenty four hour period”, I’ll just say “have a nice day!”
© Linda Wozniak