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A "before and after" sample of how plain language affects daily life

Today when I entered a train station, the announcer barked –

"Attention! This is an elevator outage customer notification!"

If you know the basics of plain language or you've taken the plain language course and use the FAA Plain Language Tool Kit,), -- then you already know the plain language sins in those words:

--there's no pronouns (no "we" or "you")
--it's a four word noun string (elevator outage customer notification)
--there's a smothered verb ("notification" hides the verb "notify" or "tell")

If you're in the transportation business and want to give critical information to handicapped or other people who need elevators, then please use plain language. There's many ways to do that, and one option might be:

"Attention! The elevators don't work at these stations!"

If you've got comments or questions about this, please contact:

Dr. Bruce V. Corsino
FAA Plain Language Program Manager
Phone: 202-493-4074
email: bruce.corsino@faa.gov

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