Monday, October 07, 2013

PLAIN Language International’s Upcoming Conference

I’m a member of PLAIN, the international association for plain language professionals. PLAIN’s 20thAnniversary Conference is coming up in Vancouver from Oct. 10-13, 2013. In the lead-up to the conference there have been many interesting discussions in the Member’s message forum.

In one of the discussions, William DuBay, of Impact Information Plain Language Services, offered up a great description of our profession. I thought I’d share it with readers as we mark International Plain Language Day (October 11). Here’s what Bill said:

“We are indeed a unique profession. We are not about writing; we are not about reading. We are at the point where these two activities intersect, at the point where comprehension takes place, where the rubber hits the road.”

I often describe plain language as reader-focused writing, which is what I think Bill is getting at when he talks about plain language practitioners being concerned with making sure the reader understands what’s written.

If you’d like to learn more about plain language – or better yet, if you’d like to join the conversation – I encourage you to join PLAIN.