We’re currently experiencing a global crisis like no other. COVID-19 has taken hold in a matter of months. It emerged at the beginning of the year. By Spring, it had spread to pretty much all corners of the globe. Information is changing constantly, sometimes minute to minute. Organizations have had to adapt to the developing situation, and communicate with their customers throughout. It’s easy to understand why plain language standards have sometimes slipped. We’re under intense pressure. It’s a complex crisis, and complex words and phrases have crept into vocabulary, almost without us realizing.
And yet, we’ve also seen some excellent examples of companies and individuals communicating clearly.
In praise of clear communicators
“At his daily press conferences, Cuomo mostly delivers plain, unvarnished facts (lots of them). Using simple and accessible language, he makes clear what is known, what is not known, and what is uncertain about the pandemic.”
And he tweets clearly too. This tweet encouraging New Yorkers to wear face masks uses plain language, and short sentences. It has a grade level of 1. A six-year-old would be able to understand it: