Translating copy to plain English – Examples

| 11th March 2011

Plain English is wonderful stuff. It flows better. It sounds and feels nicer. It’s friendlier. And it’s more concise. 

The bare bones of it? To cut the guff to the bone and take a positive slant. The ins and outs are a bit more inny and outy.

The Plain Language Commission has loads of good information about exactly how to do it. But here’s three examples so you can see plain English in action.

Examples of plain language

Before: New research has shown rehabilitative exercises work best for chronic or frequently recurring problems. Our Clinic employs evidence based protocols which have been shown to be very effective for improving muscular strength and spinal stability.

After: If your problem is long lasting or keeps coming back, exercise helps. Our proven techniques increase your muscle strength and improve the stability of your spine.

Before: Most health insurance schemes cover Chiropractic but individual policies vary. Check with your insurer before commencement of treatment, if applicable.

After: Most private health insurers include Chiropractic. But check first.

Before: The Clinic is centrally located in town, near to Smith Street and the Station. Bus Routes and Taxi ranks are close by. Car parking is metered.

After: We’re right in the town centre, near the station. There’s plenty of buses, taxi ranks and metered parking nearby.

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Category: copywriting and marketing 2006-17

By Kate Goldstone - ()

Originally from Middlesbrough, I lived in Brighton for many years before moving to North Devon. I've had a passion for words all my life and this is my fourteenth year as a freelance writer. In my spare time I draw, paint, sculpt, carve, garden, read, decorate, write poetry and enjoy long distance hiking. I sing and play the recorder. I'm a member of The Poetry Society and the Labour Party. And I am an experienced volunteer shepherd, a 'Lookerer'.

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