Book: Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please The Case for Plain Language in Business, Government, and Law (Kimble 2012)
This book collects the empirical evidence for the value of plain language in business, government, and law. Professor Kimble summarizes 50 studies (no less) showing that using plain language can save organizations and agencies a significant amount of money and that plain language serves and satisfies readers in every possible way. They strongly prefer it to legalese and officialese, they understand it better and faster, they are more likely to comply with it, and they are more likely to read it in the first place. Because it makes for readers who are more motivated, trusting, and confident, it could even help to restore faith in public institutions. The potential benefits are extraordinary. The book also debunks the ten biggest myths about plain language, including the myths about plain legal language. It looks back on 40 highlights in plain-language history. And it outlines the elements of plain language. The book's call for clarity and simplicity is vital to everyone who writes for the public—and to every legal writer as well, since more than 15 of the studies involved legal documents. And the book's lively, distinctive style makes it a pleasure to read. The book is available at http://www.cap-press.com/isbn/9781611631913.