Don’t confuse plain language with tone

What is plain language?

Plain language means presenting information in a way that your target audience can understand and use. It is a set of linguistic principles that you apply, for example:

  • simple syntax
  • active voice
  • a user-focused information structure
  • clear headings  
  • no culturally bound words or metaphors

For example: the metaphor, ‘we wash our hands of jargon’ shows a conversational tone but is not plain language. ‘We don’t use jargon’ is a better way of writing this in plain language.

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