Apparently, European Commission (EC) decided to deal with the problem of unbearable and unnecessary complexity, legalese, mind-numbing jargon and plainly bad writing. The result is a document that goes straight to the point. “How to write clearly” is freely available as a PDF document from the following address: http://ec.europa.eu/translation/writing/clear_writing/how_to_write_clearly_en.pdf. Those who wish to have a printed copy of the book (that is available in more than 10 languages) can visit http://bookshop.europa.eu/en/how-to-write-clearly-pbHC3010536/.
According to a recent article in The Bulletin, Eva Kaluzynska, Directorate-General for Translation in EC, made the point forcefully when she said that “clear language is not a luxury, but essential for democracy to function”.
In other words, next time, instead of writing the following,
In our endeavour to ensure guest safety at all times, can visitors please note that fire bell testing is carried out every Monday at 9.30am.
We test the fire bell every Monday at 9.30am.
Not very difficult, isn’t it?