Plain Language Writing Courses

In Unusual Times, Replace the Usual Customer Service Phrases

On a typical day, most customers will understand what you mean even if you use less-than-graceful words when you speak or write. For example, lots of customers dislike the phrase “No problem!” but they’ll look past it if you’re providing great service. They’ll give...

How to Write Automated Texts That Sound Human, Not Robotic

By Leslie O’Flahavan, E-WRITE and Rich Weborg, OneReach If your customers have opted-in to receive texts from your company, they probably realize that some of your texts are going to be automated. They understand that sometimes texts from your company were sent by an...

How to Write a Condolence for a Coworker

This piece was originally published as part of the "Tough Talk" article series by Relate, where I'm honored to be a guest author. My colleague, Frank, seemed distracted. He was taking days to respond to emails and ignoring voicemails altogether. Then I received this...

Cleaning up our language: A never-ending campaign

This guest post is by Elaine Blackman, Writer/Editor for the Office of Child Support Enforcement, Department of Health and Human Services. Cleaning up our language: A never-ending campaign Only a few generations ago, many causes and movements set out to clean up the...

Your Honor, could you repeat that … in plain language?

A plain language colleague recently shared this tale about jury duty. (He's given me permission to use it.) Here's the story, in his own words: "If you are called to serve as a grand juror in the District of Columbia, as I have been, you are sworn in using the...

September 11th e-mails: Written to calm or to scare?

On September 11, 2001, I was teaching a Writing for the Web course for staff in the Arlington County, VA government. Among the class members were six fire department employees. Just after 9:30, when I was discussing the course objectives and reviewing the agenda, the...

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