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This week is New Zealand's unofficial plain language week. On Thursday we'll celebrate the winners of the Writemark Plain English Awards, 2014. Top prize is for promoting clear communication throughout an entire organisation. That's not an easy job. Elsewhere, gobbledygook from government agencies continues to gush. The wells of snake oil never run dry.
The Complete Plain Words is the UK equivalent of The Elements of Style. It is the biggest-ever bestseller from Her Majesty's Stationery Office, and has never been out of print since 1954.
The first edition in 1948 was a radical call to clarity from a top civil servant. Anything written by Sir Ernest Gowers, formerly Private Secretary to Lloyd George, had the ring of authority.