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News & views

Award for Martin Cutts at plain-language conference

The banquet that closed the 2013 Plain Language InterNational Association (PLAIN) conference in Vancouver was a special occasion for Plain Language Commission’s Martin Cutts, who was presented with the Christine Mowat Plain Language Achievement Award. 

Giving the address, Ruth Baldwin (PLAIN’s treasurer) described Cutts as an international ambassador for plain language for many years, who had befriended and influenced plain-language advocates around the world.

‘We are particularly happy to be presenting this award here, in Canada, at PLAIN’s 20th anniversary because [his] early work... helped to lay the foundation for Canada’s plain-language movement in the late 1980s. His nomination came from Canada and was supported by members from around the world,’ said Baldwin.

‘We continue to be inspired by his professionalism, his capacity to expand thinking about plain language, his willingnes to mentor others, and his long-term commitment to making public information accessible.’


The award is endowed by Christine Mowat, a distinguished figure in the clear-communications field and author of A Plain Language Handbook for Legal Writers. She is the founder – and was for 30 years the president – of Wordsmith Associates, a writing and training company operating from Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. Before starting her company in 1980, Mowat taught English for 13 years in Kenya, England and Canada.  Christine Mowat is pictured presenting the award to Martin Cutts.

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