Plain Language Commission . Clear English Standard

About us

  1. Team members
  2. Why use plain language?
  3. Our business principles
  4. Frequent questions about our range of services
  5. Before-and-after examples
  6. How we test and apply our standards
  7. Words or figures?
  8. Our spelling choices
  9. Errors on the site
  10. Our terms of business and our privacy policy
  11. Cookies

How we test and apply our standards

Our customers ask their customers what they think of the documents and websites we’ve edited. They like what we do.

People who take part in our writing-skills courses rate them highly – as enjoyable and helpful, with fresh, interesting material.

Occasionally we use mathematical or computerized readability tests as a general guide to the reading-age level of texts we’ve edited. We don’t use them routinely because they can be too rigid, too time-consuming and not reliable enough. They need to be accompanied by good judgment.

We always ask ‘Who will be reading this document?’ and adapt the style to the readers. This can mean putting an idea more simply, or finding more familiar words, or explaining technical terms. Equally, it can mean using more unusual words if they are the right ones for the job and if the readers are likely to know them.

Just as important, we make sure documents are well structured, with ideas logically set out and clearly signposted. We keep what’s good in documents, and suggest only amendments that will improve them further. As your plain-English partner, our aim is to help you clarify, not to change for change’s sake. 

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