Medical Writing Plain Language and Readability Time to make it shorter: Plain English in our context
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Volume 24, Issue 1 - Plain Language and Readability

Time to make it shorter: Plain English in our context

Abstract

Plain English in medical and scientific writing is not one-size-fits-all, because audiences differ. Advice on writing plain English abounds. In 1946, George Orwell, best known as the author of 1984, formulated a much quoted, compact set of rules for clear writing. The present article explores the relevance of his rules to medical writing, makes recommendations how to apply them, and adds further rules specific to our field of writing.

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References

  1. Plain Language: Improving Communication from the Federal Government to the Public [cited 2014 Nov 25]. Available from: http://www.plainlanguage.gov/index.cfm
  2. Le Figaro.fr Scope avec evene.fr Citations et proverbes [cited 2014 Nov 25]. Available from: http://evene.lefigaro.fr/citation/ecrivent-parlent-quoiqu-parlent-tres-bien-ecrivent-mal-9697.php
  3. Politics and the English Language [cited 2014 Nov 25]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_and_the_English_Language
  4. Cutts M. Oxford Guide to Plain English. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2013.
  5. Brevity – Wikiquote [cited 2014 Nov 25]. Available from: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Brevity

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Articles

Plain language and readability
President's Message
Time to make it shorter: Plain English in our context
How CDC is promoting a clear communication culture
Making leaflets clearer for patients
Online plain English and readability resources
Get real: Avoiding corporate gobbledygook
Transferring regulation into practice: The challenges of the new layperson summary of clinical trial results
Profile: An interview with Art Gertel on the Budapest Working Group
News from the EMA
The Webscout
In the Bookstores
English Grammar and Style Revising medical writing Reasons not rules: Backtracking, pronoun-induced Part 2 – Single syntactic unit revision
Regulatory Writing Briefing documents: A case apart
Medical Communications
Lingua Franca and Beyond
Out on Our Own

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  • Victoria White (Tampa, Florida, USA) Email: MEW@emwa.org
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  • Amy Whereat (SpeaktheSpeech Consulting, Asnieres sur Seine, France)

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