tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:/posts The Plain Language Programme 2017-05-18T12:43:38Z Writers Write tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/602222 2013-09-16T13:00:00Z 2016-10-06T12:00:20Z 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.

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/589415 2013-07-18T05:34:55Z 2016-10-05T09:36:03Z Homophones

Words are fun - Homophones

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/581881 2013-05-30T17:45:17Z 2016-10-05T10:01:50Z 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.

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/330518 2013-04-03T07:23:00Z 2016-10-05T10:02:36Z Don't use these words

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/330542 2013-03-10T03:51:00Z 2016-10-05T09:36:27Z Writing Tips - Different

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/330558 2013-02-27T03:15:00Z 2016-10-05T09:41:04Z 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.”

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by Victoria from Grammar.Net

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/330571 2013-02-26T05:14:00Z 2016-10-05T09:41:39Z Apostrophes and Numbers

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/330593 2013-02-25T03:55:00Z 2016-11-21T14:34:08Z Quotable - Strunk & White on Qualifiers

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/330613 2013-02-21T03:59:00Z 2016-10-05T09:42:24Z Comma Splices

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/330616 2013-02-20T01:37:00Z 2017-01-05T17:39:38Z In Plain Language - Part Two

In Plain Language - Part 1

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/330629 2013-02-19T01:34:00Z 2016-10-05T09:43:48Z In Plain Language - Part 1

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/330643 2013-02-18T03:57:00Z 2016-10-05T09:44:33Z Writing Tips - Hyphens

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/330662 2013-02-16T04:24:00Z 2016-10-06T12:33:24Z The Business of Telling Stories

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/330666 2013-02-14T07:21:00Z 2016-11-21T14:34:03Z 10 Business Writing Tips

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/330679 2013-02-11T12:42:00Z 2016-10-05T10:04:01Z Homophones, Homonyms, Homographs and More

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/330689 2013-02-07T04:14:00Z 2016-10-05T10:04:27Z Writing a Press Release

How to write a press release in seven steps

This is a shortened version of the excellent article by Kevin Walsh from Copy Unlimited

(Follow this link for the full article.)

1. Hook your reader

All great stories have a hook – and a press release is a story. It may be only a page long, but it has a beginning, a middle and an end.

Have you done something amazing? Launched a revolutionary product? Signed a big deal? Been given an award? Poached somebody from the competition?

2. Create a strong headline

The very best releases – like the very best books – grab readers immediately and don’t let them go.

3. Structure your story

Under your headline, give the essential facts of the story in the opening paragraph.

In essence, it’s the elevator pitch. If somebody read only this paragraph, would they still have a pretty good idea what the story was about? If not, rework it until that’s the case.

4. Explain and simplify

Don’t assume that your readers are familiar with your company, history or positioning. Drop in key facts with a light touch and link them to the story. 

Avoid jargon and buzzwords, especially if you’re writing for a general audience.

5. Remember that less is more

You’re sending the press release to busy editors. They’re writing for busy readers. Everybody’s attention span is reduced by email, social networking, text messages and on-screen discomfort.

So make it short, concise and abbreviated.

6. Wrap it up

All stories have an ending, and a press release is no different, so make sure it doesn’t fizzle out.

7. And finally…

Stop. Don’t send it yet. Instead, do something else (a bit like clearing your palate when you’re between courses). Then come back to it again with a cold, objective eye.

Read the release out loud to see how it flows. Check grammar, spelling, names, phone numbers and email addresses to make sure you’ve got them right.

And then? Get it out the door and move on.

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/330712 2013-02-05T13:46:00Z 2016-10-05T09:46:54Z Writing Humour - Between you and me

Find out more about 'Between you and me'

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/330752 2013-01-22T03:18:00Z 2016-10-05T09:50:40Z A Business Writer's Comic

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/330539 2013-01-17T15:29:00Z 2016-10-05T09:55:46Z Common Writing Mistakes

We loved this post on Biographile.com

Benjamin Dreyer is the VP Executive Managing Editor & Copy Chief of Random House Publishing Group. Below is his list of the common stumbling blocks for authors, from A to X. 

  • One buys antiques in an antiques store from an antiques dealer; an antique store is a very old store.
  • He stayed awhile; he stayed for a while.
  • Besides is other than; beside is next to.
  • The singular of biceps is biceps; the singular of triceps is triceps. There’s no such thing as a bicep; there’s no such thing as a tricep.
  • A blond man, a blond woman; he’s a blond, she’s a blonde.
  • A capital is a city (or a letter, or part of a column); a capitol is a building.
  • Something centres on something else, not around it.
  • If you’re talking about a thrilling plot point, the word is climactic; if you’re discussing the weather, the word is climatic.
  • A cornet is an instrument; a coronet is a crown.
  • One emigrates from a place; one immigrates to a place.
  • The word is enmity, not emnity.
  • One goes to work every day, or nearly, but eating lunch is an everyday occurrence.
  • A flair is a talent; a flare is an emergency signal.
  • A flier is someone who flies planes; a flyer is a piece of paper.
  • Flower bed, not flowerbed.
  • Free rein, not free reign.
  • To garner is to accumulate, as a waiter garners tips; to garnish (in the non-parsley meaning) is to take away, as the government garnishes one’s wages; a garnishee is a person served with a garnishment; to garnishee is also to serve with a garnishment (that is, it’s a synonym for “to garnish”).
  • A gel is a jelly; it’s also a transparent sheet used in stage lighting. When Jell-O sets, or when one’s master plan takes final form, it either jells or gels (though I think the former is preferable).
  • Bears are grizzly; crimes are grisly. Cheap meat, of course, is gristly.
  • Coats go on hangers; planes go in hangars.
  • One’s sweetheart is 'hon', not 'hun', unless one’s sweetheart is Attila (not, by the way, Atilla) or perhaps Winnie-the-Pooh (note hyphens).
  • One insures cars; one ensures success; one assures people.
  • Lawn mower, not lawnmower.
  • The past tense of lead is led, not lead.
  • One loathes someone else but is loath to admit one’s distaste.
  • If you’re leeching, you’re either bleeding a patient with a leech or otherwise sucking someone’s or something’s lifeblood. If you’re leaching, you’re removing one substance from another by means of a percolating liquid (I have virtually no idea what that means; I trust that you do).
  • You wear a mantle; your fireplace has a mantel.
  • Masseurs are men; masseuses are women. Many otherwise extremely well educated people don’t seem to know this; I have no idea why. (These days they’re all called massage therapists anyway.)
  • The short version of microphone is still, so far as RH is concerned, mike. Not, ick, “mic.” [2009 update: I seem to be losing this battle. Badly. 2010 update: I’ve lost. Follow the author’s lead.]
  • There’s no such word as moreso.
  • Mucus is a noun; mucous is an adjective.
  • Nerve-racking, not -wracking; racked with guilt, not wracked with guilt.
  • One buys a newspaper at a newsstand, not a newstand.
  • An ordinance is a law; ordnance is ammo.
  • Palette has to do with colour; palate has to do with taste; a pallet is, among other things, something you sleep on. Eugene Pallette was a character actor; he’s particularly good in the 1943 film Heaven Can Wait.
  • Nounwise, a premier is a diplomat; a premiere is something one attends. “Premier” is also, of course, an adjective denoting quality.
  • That which the English call paraffin (as in 'paraffin stove'), we Americans call kerosene. Copy editors should keep an eye open for this in mss. by British authors and query it. The term paraffin should generally be reserved for the waxy, oily stuff we associate with candles.
  • Prophecy is a noun; prophesy is a verb.
  • Per Web 11, it’s restroom.
  • The Sibyl is a seeress; Sybil is Basil Fawlty’s wife.
  • Please don’t mix somewhat and something into one murky modifier. A thing is somewhat rare, or it’s something of a rarity.
  • A tick bites; a tic is a twitch.
  • Tortuous is twisty, circuitous, or tricky; torturous is painful, or painfully slow.
  • Transsexual, not transexual.
  • Troops are military; troupes are theatrical.
  • A vice is depraved; a vise squeezes.
  • Vocal cords; strikes a chord.
  • A smart aleck is a wise guy; a mobster is a wiseguy.
  • X ray is a noun; X-ray is a verb or adjective.

By Benjamin Dreyer From Biographile

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/330551 2013-01-16T17:05:00Z 2016-10-05T10:05:28Z Writing Tips - Making an Argument in Writing

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/330565 2013-01-14T02:58:00Z 2016-10-05T10:05:48Z Getting a desired customer reaction - Three steps

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/330602 2013-01-12T03:04:00Z 2016-10-05T10:06:08Z How to get a reader's attention

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/330617 2013-01-11T03:03:00Z 2016-10-05T09:56:16Z Copywriting - Definition

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/330634 2013-01-09T09:43:00Z 2016-10-05T09:56:36Z Writing Tips for Web Pages and Adverts

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/330656 2013-01-08T03:56:00Z 2016-10-05T09:56:51Z Sales Letters

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/330678 2013-01-07T02:52:00Z 2016-10-06T12:08:53Z Slogans - The 12 Types

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/330714 2012-12-29T03:15:00Z 2016-10-05T09:59:47Z Apostrophes - Explained

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/330726 2012-12-27T09:30:00Z 2016-10-05T09:58:57Z Signs of the Times

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/330734 2012-12-26T05:13:00Z 2016-10-05T09:58:22Z Idioms - The elephant in the room

"Elephant in the room" is an English metaphorical idiom for an obvious truth that is either being ignored or going unaddressed. The idiomatic expression also applies to an obvious problem or risk no one wants to discuss.

It is based on the idea that an elephant in a room would be impossible to overlook; thus, people in the room who pretend the elephant is not there have chosen to avoid dealing with the looming big issue.

What is an idiom?

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tag:the-plain-language-programme.posthaven.com,2013:Post/330747 2012-12-24T07:58:00Z 2017-05-18T12:43:38Z Latin phrases you should know

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