Dominique Joseph on translation and the plain language writing process

Last week I asked for input about where translation fits into the plain language process. Editor, translator, and plain language specialist Dominique Joseph contributed such a well-thought-out response—so long she put it on a Google Doc rather than directly in … Continue reading

Where does translation fit into plain language? An information-gathering post

What struck me most when rebuilding Supply and Services Canada’s plain language guides (Plain Language: Clear and Simple and Pour un style clair et simple) was that the French guides aren’t simply the English guides, translated. Although both guides teach the same underlying … Continue reading

Now available: Pour un style clair et simple—Guide du formateur

Earlier this year I rebuilt Supply and Services Canada’s eminently useful but out-of-print plain language guides, including the two sixty-page booklets, Plain Language: Clear and Simple and Pour un style clair et simple, as well as the thorough, two-hundred-page Plain Language: … Continue reading

Rethinking the block quote

I recently noticed my tendency to skip right over the block quotes in a book I was reading and figured there are probably others who do the same. My brain likely took the diminutive type as a cue that the … Continue reading

Wall, part I

Senior editors’ unconference (EAC conference 2014)

What better way for senior editors to learn than by talking to other senior editors? At the EAC conference, I led the senior editors’ unconference session, which was split into two parts. At lunchtime on Saturday, people were invited to … Continue reading

Advanced Acrobatics: Tips and tricks for PDF mark-up—Adrienne Montgomerie (EAC conference 2014)

Are you still proofreading on paper? More and more clients are looking to do away with the printing and couriering costs associated with paper proofs and are asking proofreaders to mark up changes in PDF. Editor, trainer, and volunteer extraordinaire … Continue reading

Enlighten others—and get paid for it: How to launch and run a training business—Graham Young (EAC conference 2014)

Graham Young has taught more than five hundred seminars on writing and public speaking, and at the EAC conference he shared some of his insights about the business of training others. Should you start a training business? The pros and … Continue reading

Our changing language: When does wrong become right?—James Harbeck (EAC conference 2014)

“My head literally exploded.” Does that sentence drive you crazy? It reflects a change in the usage of “literally”—one that not everyone accepts. The history of English, though, is replete with examples of usages and syntax that were once considered … Continue reading

Beyond the plain language edit—Claire Foley & Tracy Torchetti (EAC conference 2014)

Those of us who work in plain language are intimately familiar with the basic techniques that help us produce clear communications, including using: common words familiar to the intended reader, a conversational style that speaks directly to the audience, active … Continue reading