It’s good to know the folks at FedWeek have a sense of humor, even about plain language. Here’s their tongue-in-cheek announcement about the Plain Writing Act of 2010, signed into law by President Obama on October 13, 2010:
“President Obama has signed into law (P.L. 111-274) legislation requiring agencies to use plain language in documents directed toward the public and to train employees in clear writing—for example, writing that does not utilize abstruse verbiage rather than use plain words, nor is redundant by making a point more than once (that is, twice or more), nor contains sentences that keep going even when the point at which they should have stopped arrived far before the period, with period in this case referring to a punctuation mark, rather than a measure of time, such as the time it takes to read writing full of unnecessary dependent clauses, sometimes known as subordinate clauses, that make it difficult for the reader to recall the subject by the end of the predicate, and that would not pass the law’s standards.”
Other joyful announcements of the Plain Writing Act:
- ABC News reports “Obama Signs Law We Can All Understand“
- The Center for Plain Language announces “President Obama Has Signed the Plain Writing of Act of 2010“
Yes, the government went and made writing well a law. This is going to be very good for readers!
— Leslie O’Flahavan