On air and in print

Neil James, our very own Dr Plain English, appears regularly in the media to talk about public language and clear communication.

Browse these pages for interviews, articles and speeches on topics close to our hearts. Give yourself a well-earned promotion with Neil's collection of fancy-pants job titles. Or ideate some impactful solutions with our suitspeak jargon generator.

Plain language

The international movement for plain language and clear communication is gaining momentum. We discuss some highlights.

Politics and government

Politicians and bureaucrats are some of the worst offenders when it comes to using complex language and obscuring meaning.

Grammar and writing

Dr Plain English fights to put grammar and the age-old art of rhetoric back in the spotlight. He argues for simple, clear writing.

Worst words

Each December, we announce our worst word or phrase of the year. Recent winners have been 'conscious uncoupling', 'demising', 'goodification' and 'fugitive emissions'.

Finance and insurance

Lately, bankers and insurers have faced some tough questions about the ethics of their language. So who really caused the GFC?

  Workplace writing gets a facelift

From staff policies to consumer fact sheets, there are very few workplace documents that plain English cannot improve.

We help writers lift their documents, no matter the genre or the likely readership.

The options

Our training caters for everyone, from ministerial advisers to marketing assistants. In just one organisation, we have run workshops that cover:

  • technical reports
  • ministerial briefs and board papers
  • web pages
  • letters and emails
  • policies and procedures
  • general communications.
The effects

After several years of training and editorial support, this client has seen a dramatic improvement in its writing culture. Focus and analysis are up, while officialese and jargon are down.

In a study of board papers alone, it found:

  • the average document was 50% shorter
  • the editorial workload of senior managers had fallen by 40%.