Plain Language

  • Cicero. De oratore “The Orator” xxiii, 76-79. 55 BCE. Print.
    The idea of plain language dates back to 55 BCE when Cicero mentions it in his rhetorical dialogue known as “De oratore”. The dialogue talks about many rhetorical themes and ideas. However he also mentions the idea of plain language as the proper way to communicate effectively. It is very interesting to see that the idea of plain language has existed for so many years.
  • Grotsky, Rose. “Plain Language: Its Effect on Organizational Performance.” Clarity 51 (2004). May 2004. Web. 25 Apr. 2010.
    This source analyzes a case study conducted to observe the effects of the implementation of a plain language system on a financial services company.  Results found that the plain language addition proved useful to employees and customers and greatly increased the productivity of the company.
  • “President Clinton’s Memorandum on Plain Language and Government Writing”
    President Clinton made plain language one of his main initiatives during the 90’s. It is interesting to see how his memorandum called for government agencies to write documents in plain language. Writing government documents in plain language allows for better transparency and ultimately a better relationship between government and the public.
  • Steinberg, Erwin R. Plain Language: Principles and Practice. Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1991.
    This book focuses on plain language and plain language laws in U.S., specifically New York, and the various ways of approaching these laws. It also discusses plain language on an international level. It also discusses the problems with plain language and offers ways to help with writing, review, and revision of plain language. It also offers several case studies involving plain language.