The Plain Style

One of our resources over on the right-hand side of the page is “The Plain Language Style Guide,” published by the BC Securities Commission to help securities professionals in the composition of correspondence and public documents. Drafted with the assistance of Wordsmith Associates Communications Consultants Inc., the guide’s goal is to make sure that all stakeholders – investors, public-company management and directors, brokers, and the like – easily understand the Commission’s written prose. Although it is an in-house style guide, we’ve found it useful in a numerous other workplace environments as well as in the classroom. Its sections on planning, designing, and writing professional text are uniformly lucid and helpful.

The “plain style” is also making in-roads in some literary criticism. Professor Jonathan Mayhew’s “defense” of “writing that is clear, concise, elegant, and free from unnecessary jargon” is worth reading, as is his blog, Stupid Motivational Tricks: Scholarly writing and how to get it done.

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(Photo by Bob Basil)

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