To my surprise this was very entertaining. Not only did I learn, I was able to be aware for two straight hours.
I am not a native English speaker even though it was taught to me at a very early age. There is a ton of cultural difference on how I (we) write in Spanish, which is a more elaborate, fancy and confusing way. Yes, not many writers take care of their readers.
I found out that it is better to write in a simpler, colloquial (inside joke, ha!), plain way than adding adjectives one on top of the other. The benefits seem plenty. Writing this way is supposed to keep your readers interested on what you are trying to communicate, it also states that there are more chances to keep them all the way to the end.
I had a chance to comment about this with an English friend. He raised his eyebrows and said, “those are Americanisms!” -end of quote. Since I am a citizen of the world, I didn’t pay much attention to his mock. For much I care about him, I know he can be obnoxious just for fun, even though he is not Irish. (unconscious biased? another joke.)
One of the lessons mentioned that if you address complex subjects to others, explain them in a simple way like if you were talking to your family, the message will get across. There is a readability index (The Flesch–Kincaid) which points how hard or easy is to comprehend a text. The target index score for plain English is 70-60 which correspond to school level eight or nine.
Wondering why Reader’s Digest has been around since 1922 and has a total circulation (Yr. 2020) of 3,029,039?. Plain English!
|Item||Readability Index (the higher # the easiest)||Item||Readability Index (the higher # the easiest)|
|Consumer ads in magazines||82||Wall Street Journal||43|
|Movie Screen||75||Harvard Business Review||43|
|Seventeen||67||New York Times||39|
|Reader’s Digest||65||New York Review of Books||35|
|Sports Illustrated||63||Harvard Law Review||32|
|New York Daily News||60||Standard auto insurance policy||10|
|Atlantic Monthly||57||Internal Revenue Code||minus 6|
Hopefully you made it this far, which means I did good on my training! I added a video from a restaurant in Windsor in the UK, to remind my Englishman friend that plain English is not only “Americanisms”…
Either way I had to add something so…
This place is the Castle Hotel, Windsor Mgallery in the UK.