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The end of jargon: will New Zealand's plain language law finally make bureaucrats talk like normal people?

By Andreea S. Calude, Senior Lecturer in Linguistics, University of Waikato
Sam Campbell, Law Lecturer, University of Waikato
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Which sentence is easier to understand? “He was conveyed to his place of residence in an intoxicated condition.” Or, “He was carried home drunk.” Most people choose the latter, for obvious reasons.

This century-old example is a useful illustration of how “plain language” can be used to communicate more clearly, from everyday interactions right through to government documents.

The new Plain…The Conversation

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