I’m sorry for the long silence since my last post. True, I’ve spent the last few months taking my interactive training online, but this post was already overdue before lockdown. Now, I have a copy to give away of the latest edition of the Oxford Guide to Plain English, thanks to Martin Cutts and Oxford University Press. And I feel confident to venture into the Post Office, keeping my distance from other customers and wearing my new home-made mask (thanks to Katy Smith).

ALREADY GONE, BUT YOU CAN STILL POST COMMENTS BELOW. So, on 20 July, I will post this short, readable paperback to one reader who has emailed me their answer to the question at the end of this post.


The Oxford Guide to Plain English

Martin Cutts, co-founder of the Plain English Campaign, published this book as “The Plain English Guide” in 1996. By the time I first bought it, it was in its third edition. Since then, it’s doubled in size but not in price. Its guidelines have been re-organised into 30 chapters, starting with the key techniques. The author suggests you go straight to the one that interests you most or try reading one a day.

This book has been on my list of recommended reading ever since I’ve had a list. Not only is it reliable, readable, sensible and useful, it’s also still fairly short and cheap. For my review, published yesterday in the Law Society Gazette, go to https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/reviews/please-no-more-legalese/5104925.article.


How to win a copy

Here’s my perennial question: what single change, in everything you have to read, would save you the most time? Email your answer to before Monday 20 July.

One lucky reader wins my spare copy. Everyone who replies will receive a summary of the answers (not identifying the sources).



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