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 managing a dialogue with their citizen audience? Before the advent […]
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 little passive? Surely a construction that’s survived in English for […]
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 does government take a capital?  The rule is that you […]
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 the pronoun ‘they’ in the singular, which should be used […]
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 bounces one more time. You forgot the comma after ‘however’. […]
Contact us