Undaunted by crazy deadlines, we can often fit in an urgent editing job.
Our work is simply to help you clarify.
Plain-English editing and writing-skills training: helping you clarify your web and printed communications.
What we offer
- Accreditation of your public documents with the Clear English Standard logo – see Editing menu.
- High-quality writing-skills courses (virtual and face-to-face) for your staff – see Writing-skills courses menu.
- A distance-learning course to improve every individual’s writing skills – see Writing-skills courses menu.
- Accreditation of your website with the Clear English Standard logo – see Editing menu.
- Rapid, affordable editing of your documents and website, even if you choose not to use the Clear English Standard – see Editing menu.
We work for every kind of organization, offering a first-class service by published authors and editors at a reasonable cost. We are a business, independent of the UK government. So, just to be clear, our accreditation services for documents and websites are not part of any official scheme.
News and updates
- The fifth edition of our director Martin Cutts’s book the Oxford Guide to Plain English is now on sale. Order at www.oup.com using promotion code ADFLYK2 to save 30%.
- Martin was honoured by Clarity, the international campaign for plain legal language, at a conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2023. Pictured here with the trophy, Martin became one of the first three inductees of the Plain Language Hall of Fame along with Professor David Mellinkoff (Language of the Law, 1963) and Dr Ginny Redish (Letting Go of the Words, 2012).
- In 2022, we asked the National Cyber Security Service (NCSC, part of GCHQ) to rewrite its over-complex booklet about the Cyber Essentials scheme. Download our critique of this dreadful document here. Responding, the NCSC rewrote and redesigned the booklet, and it’s now much clearer.
- Several websites have earned the right to display the Gold level of the Clear English Standard, showing they’ve met our accreditation criteria. This rare accolade is now held by (among others) Warmworks, MoneyHelper, and the Bank of England. Scheme details: see Editing menu.
- Our latest paperback, Nailing the Lies of the Plain English Campaign, is available on free download here (116 pages, 10MB). The book critically examines the claims and activities of a well-known operator in the plain-language field. Details: see Books.
Our expert team members
Our small team of published authors and editors are highly experienced in the writing-skills field. The company is managed by Martin Cutts, author of Lucid Law, the Plain English Lexicon and the Oxford Guide to Plain English. Most of our courses are presented by Ruth Thornton, one of the best writing-skills trainers in the UK and the author of the Adult Learners’ Writing Guide (Chambers). Martin and Ruth are assisted by several tried and trusted freelances.
Find out more about our expert team members here.
Why use plain language?
Whether you’re writing to customers, colleagues or members of the public, it makes sense to use language they’ll easily be able to understand. We can call this ‘plain language’ or ‘clear language’. Plain language improves efficiency and saves money because more people will read and act upon the documents you send them. Plain language is now required by many leading organizations and industries, by several regulators and even by some laws.
Find out more about the importance of using plain language here.
Plain Language Commission is independent of the UK Government.
We belong to PLAIN, the international association for plain-language supporters and practitioners around the world.