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Plain English awards 2016

This year’s Plain English Award winners are as follows. All made a significant contribution to clear communication, either by producing exemplary and helpful booklets on serious subjects, making plain English a central part of what they do, or by confronting poor or badly-judged English.

Congratulations to all.

Alex Hern

I Read All The Small Print On The Internet and it Made We Want To Die’ (first published 2015).

Five Rivers

‘Foster with us’ fostering guides (booklets).

Judge Richard Posner

I think most lawyers and most judges simply accept the standard terminology. Like if you’re a fish, you accept the fact that you live in water and have gills and so on. You don’t question it. Similarly with the lawyer and judges.

They imbibe all this stuff at law school because the professors, they’re immersed in the same culture and I don’t really think it’s a healthy culture. I think in any area in which you can express yourself adequately in the ordinary day-to-day language, it’s much better than having a specialized vocabulary.

Posner criticizes majority opinion’s legal jargon in his concurrence

NHS Health Scotland

‘A smear test could save your life’ (booklet).

Pancreatic Cancer UK

‘Pancreatic cancer: An overview of diagnosis and treatment’ (booklet).


‘Grief support for children and young people in Oxfordshire’ (booklet).

UK National Institute for Health Research

For their stipulation that plain English summaries must be part of any NIHR funding application.

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