30 October, 2020

Legal writing can be clear

A little background. The Lincoln Project is a team of conservative Republicans that is waging a ferocious, creative and hyper-intelligent campaign against President Trump and the vicious brood that makes up his administration. Part guerrilla war, part psychological operation, part […]
30 October, 2020

Blackwhite – November

Notice to readers. Understanding that no finer example of Blackwhite has been or will be published, we reprint this presidential proclamation in full. You can view it at: October 16, 2020 National Character Counts Week, 2020 by the President […]
30 October, 2020

Start 2021 in style with our virtual program

On 11 and 12 November 2020, our free guided tour of the Australian Government Style Manual, ‘The essentials of Australian Government writing style’ is completely booked. We’re running one more free session on 21–22 January 2021, numbers are limited so […]
30 October, 2020

TRUST is published

Chris Hammer is an Australian author who joined us last month to talk about writing style. You can hear what he had to say here. His new book TRUST is now available online or at good bookstores.
29 October, 2020

Plain language writing is good. Keep saying it.

Clear writing in plain language, compared with dull bureaucratese, is quicker to write, easier to read, and gets your message across better. That can mean serious savings of time and money.  For example, Ethos CRS estimated that productivity gains in […]
27 October, 2020

Effective government communication – it’s all about readability

Literacy has a profound effect on people’s lives, in particular, their ability to effectively interact with government and participate fully in society. It is a difficult skill to define, let alone measure, especially in a fast-paced digital environment where mass […]
22 October, 2020

10 key takeaways from our webinar on clear writing

If you haven’t had a chance to catch up with Ethos CRS October webinar on clear writing, with Kate Wall, Chas Savage, Dr Amanda Laugesen and Chris Hammer, here are 10 key takeaways: The point of writing clearly is to […]
20 October, 2020

Government communication in the age of social media

The rapid technological changes that have occurred over the past few decades are creating unique challenges for governments everywhere, transforming how they communicate and engage with citizens In this changing world, how do governments develop responsive, effective information campaigns, while […]
19 October, 2020

It’s okay to use the passive voice. Just make sure you know why.

One of the best known rules of plain language writing is ‘Avoid the passive voice’. As George Orwell said, wagging his finger sternly: ‘Never use the passive when you can use the active.’  Really? Not at all? Not one teensy-weensy […]
14 October, 2020

Government doesn’t deserve a capital

If I want to say ‘the government is up to no good’, should I use a capital ‘g’ for government? Not according to the new Australian Government Style Manual.  But there’s a capital ‘G’ in the previous sentence, so when […]
13 October, 2020

Gender inclusivity and language

The language around gender and sexuality has changed radically in the past few decades. The Australian Government’s newly revised Style Manual provides guidance for writers wanting to make their writing more inclusive. Top of the list is the use of […]
12 October, 2020

Those pesky commas

You’ve spent months in your new position carefully noting the boss’s little style bugbears. That important brief has bounced up and down stairs a few times. The end is in sight, and you’re quite proud of it. But unexpectedly it […]
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