What is POFP?

Why do lawyers refer to long documents as briefs and
18-year olds as infants? Why do they use so much Latin when so few of their
clients are Ancient Romans? Is it a conspiracy?


Party of the First Part has the answers! Check out the Website for the
Legalese Hall of Shame; a glossary of legal words linked to Adam Freedman's
columns; tips on writing legal documents in plain English; and more!



Friday, November 28, 2008

Plain Language Around the World


There's been a recent outbreak of common sense throughout the English-speaking world. Herewith (!), a recap of some current plain language initiatives.


  • In Newfoundland, the Public Legal Information Association is publishing booklets to provide "legal information without the legalese." (Thanks to Voice of the Common Man, Newfoundland).

  • Canadians are also leading the charge against impenetrable credit card applications. The Toronto Star reports that the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada and MasterCard Canada have unveiled a model plain language application form.

  • In Australia, an entrepeneur has launched a website with plain language advice and forms for separated parents to create custody plans without having to wade through the swamps of legalese. (Thanks to the Daily Liberal).

  • Meanwhile, here in the US of A, Tech Journal South has published a terrific article on how to "remove legalese from your writing." The author, a small business consultant, has lots of sensible advice, including such fundamental (and often overlooked) points as keeping your audience in mind.

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