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Clear communicators will become a single profession, conference told

StanleyPark[6 Nov 2013] Under the slogan ‘Plain language advances’, a three-day conference of about 200 plain-language professionals from around the world has taken place near Stanley Park (pictured) in Vancouver, Canada. The event, staged by Plain Language Association InterNational (PLAIN), promoted the idea that communicators of many kinds should use well-established, evidence-based techniques to clarify the information that people need in their daily lives. 

Neil James, PLAIN vice-president and executive director of the Plain English Foundation in Australia, said technological change would gradually compel writers, editors, typesetters, designers and proofreaders to converge into a single profession, perhaps under the banner of ‘clear communications’. And he said the ocean of information on the internet, much of it poorly written, would create a strong demand for qualified professionals who could make it more understandable and usable. (Click here for a PDF of Neil James' slides (3.7MB), which gives the gist of his speech. Other presentations are available through

A new university-backed qualification could soon help to achieve that goal. Karine Nicolay, from PLAIN’s International Plain Language [cont]

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