Defining plain language

A communication is in plain language if its wording, structure and design are so clear that the intended readers can easily find what they need, understand what they find and use that information.

International Plain Language Working Group

Award judging

We love seeing organisations succeed in adopting plain language, and helping to celebrate their efforts.

We have helped to judge the:

Congratulations to Neil!

Our founder Dr Neil James received the Christine Mowat Plain Language Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution to advancing plain language.

The award recognises Neil’s work in Australia, where he and Dr Peta Spear created this Foundation. Overseas, Neil was instrumental in establishing what is now the International Plain Language Federation. He also developed the 2010 options paper that shaped the plain language movement and has underpinned its progress since.

Our community work

Dr Neil James has served as both President and Vice President of the Plain Language Association InterNational (PLAIN). We sponsor and take part in PLAIN's biennial conference, as well as conferences with hosts like:

See our Think tank for key conference papers. 

Our media work

Neil regularly contributes to The Mandarin on the importance of clear communication. His series includes strategic models for reform and what distinguishes plain English editing. He also reveals the lighter side of language on radio.

See On air and in print for his collected work.

In our campaign for ethical public language, we highlight spin, doublespeak, jargon, frankenwords and other nasties in our annual Worst Word of the Year list.

Share your finds with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Our conference

Our PLAIN 2009 conference in Sydney hosted over 300 people from 14 countries.

The conference gave us 45 fascinating sessions with expert speakers.

See our archive.