In Plain Language - How Writers Write Can Help You

Writers Write provides plain language services for companies. 

Plain Language Legislation – What does it mean?

South Africa has legislation to balance power between those who provide products and services, and citizens who receive them. Readers must understand why a document is important, why it is necessary to sign it, and what the consequences of signing it imply. Consumers, as defined in the act, have average literacy skills. This means they are neither illiterate nor learned. Consumers must appreciate and understand the risks and obligations of entering into any verbal or written arrangement.

How can we help you?

By hiring a team of professional editors and writers, you ensure that your communications are clear, concise and up-to-date. The Writers Write Team will assist you with your needs according to Plain Language guidelines.

What we do

We provide three services: editing, writing, training. 

  1. Our editing in plain language services are for reviewing and editing your business documents, in house magazines, promotional features, presentations, style guides, and website content. 
  2. Our writing in plain language services include reviewing and rewriting content for your publications. These include brochures, newsletters, business proposals, progress reports, and promotional materials.
  3. Our training in plain language services train your staff to communicate in plain language. Our well-established Plain Language Programme is available if you want this option.


Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South AfricaWriters Write - Write to communicate

Writing Tips - Job Titles and Capitalisation

  1. If you are using the name of the position instead of the person’s name, you should use a capital letter. Example: The President will speak after dinner.
  2. If you are writing about the position in general, you should not use a capital letter. Example: He always wanted to become president.
  3. If you are using the person's name after the title, you should use a capital letter. Example: President Obama.

If you want to improve your business writing skills, join us for The Plain Language Programme


Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate

Troublesome Words

Past or Passed

This pair is among the most notorious of homonyms and are regularly–and incorrectly–swapped. To make the confusion worse, not only do the two words sound similar, they are often used in similar situations. Past is a noun, adjective, and adverb, and passed is generally used as a verb or adjective. To determine the use and meaning, examine the rest of the sentence: read it “in context”.

Noun: “In the past, television had much fewer commercials.”
Adjective: “Over the past week, Bob has really helped out.”
Verb: “The red car passed the blue car,” or “Because he studied homonyms all night, Fred passed his English test.”

“The time for action is in the past.”
“The time for action has passed.”

Lie or Lay

When used as verbs, these words are frequently confused and are among the most difficult to keep straight. A way to remember: lie is “doing” and lay is “putting”.

The verb forms of lie: lie (present,) lay (past), and lain (past participle).
The verb forms of lay: lay (present), laid (past), and laid (past participle). “Layed” is not a word and is incorrect.

“After lunch, you should lie down.”
“The lions lie in the tall grass, watching the zebras.”
“The bed was messy, as if someone had lain in it.”
“Lay the hammer on the table.”
“Phyllis laid her pencil down and turned her test in.”
“The electricians had worked all week and had laid a thousand feet of wiring.”

Rise or Raise

Similar to lie and lay, rise is an action that is performed, and raise is an action that is performed on an object.

“When I rise in the morning, I like to read the paper.”
“The motto for the Portland Trailblazers is ‘Rise With Us’.”
“Frankie rose late for work today and had to rush.”
“The Sun Also Rises”–a novel by Ernest Hemingway
“Families prefer to raise their children in a quiet neighborhood.”
“Raise your glasses in a toast to hippos–where would we be without them?”
“I raised my pillow to hit the alarm clock.”
“You can tell a bird’s about to fly away when it raises its wings.”

Proceed or Precede

Proceed means to advance or carry on, especially after an interruption.

“After lunch, we shall proceed with the tour.”
“The chicken proceeded to lay half a dozen eggs.”
“Hopefully the party proceeds as planned, despite the rain.”

Precede refers to something that comes before.

“Dark skies and winds precede a storm.”
“The Stone Age preceded the Bronze Age.”
“Breakfast precedes lunch.”

Source for Image

by Victoria from Grammar.Net

If you want to improve your business writing skills, join us for The Plain Language Programme


Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate