Plain English Guru: Ken Davis

A brief thanks to for pointing us to Kenneth W. Davis


Once we clicked to his blog, we knew we’d found a gem: a Plain English Guru.

Sure, it’s not a legal writing blog. Ah, much more importanly, it’s a blog about writing. Writing for everyone.

And that’s something many of us attorneys push aside as we start writing. We write to impress the Court. We write to impress the Client. We write to impress anyone who may read our loquacious and eloquent documents.

In essence, as lawyers, we often forget to write  for someone, we write to impress the audience with our hard-earned and years of education. After all, we had to learn to write those Latin phrases in law school, right?

Writing with flourish may be fun and it may be exciting to search for words out of the brain’s recesses that house our grammar school vocabulary tests, but those are endeavors for us, the writers.

When we write for the reader, we should write clearly and with a end in sight – to get our idea across to the reader.

And Mr. Davis is the go-to-guy for plain writing.


Plain Language: Moving Away from Legalese

The South Carolina Access to Justice Commission was first introduced to the concept of Plain Language at the regional public hearings last spring.  Last week, Court Solutions’ attendees learned more about the Plain Language movement and heard about initiatives around the country.

Plain Language uses words and images that most people can understand. It enables people with low literacy abilities, people with limited English proficiency and/or people with cognitive disabilities to more easily understand the concepts. People with visual impairments benefit from plain language because it is easier for their automated “screen readers.”

There are many online resources about how to draft plain language documents. Here are just a few:

Stay tuned for more information about Plain Language updates from Stephanie A. Nye.