The Guardian’s Alex Hern forced himself to read all the terms and conditions he encountered in one week. In that time, he collected 146,000 words of legalese in 33 documents. It was, he said, “enough to fill three quarters of Moby Dick, just to explain what I can and can’t do online.”
Few of us have the dedication to follow Hern’s path. Most of us skim these documents (if we look at them at all) before accepting and carrying on. No wonder. They are generally so wordy and confusing, our eyes glaze over within seconds.
We might actually read and understand what we’re agreeing to if only the writers used plain language.
The October issue of my newsletter, Wordernerdery, has three steps and 13 tips to make your writing more readable with plain language. They would be perfect for terms and conditions, or really any complex writing that you hope will be read and understood.
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