Andrew Pegler Guest Series

Andrew Pegler Guest Series
In this four-part series on plain language and corporate communication, get advice from plain English expert Andrew Pegler on how and why you should use plain English in professional writing. Andrew Pegler is Principal of Andrew Pegler Media Ltd, an editorial and design agency specializing in keeping it simple. He is an award-winning plain English editor and writer and plain English workshop presenter. Andrew holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and in economics. He also holds certificates in accounting, tax law, finance proofreading, editing, and public speaking. He is a regular presenter on plain English at conferences and summits in Australia and abroad.
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Recent Posts

Plain English and Narrative: What's the Story?

I was in Boise, Idaho yesterday and you know how conservative that state can be and we went out for a walk to get a coffee and it was a cold day and within a quarter hour I must  have seen 15 people with face piercings and green hair.

Confused? You’re not alone. The paragraph above is a mess. The language is straightforward, there aren’t any very long words, it’s written in the first person and it’s chatty. These are all hallmarks of writing in plain English, but… Did you understand it at first reading? Very unlikely. Apart from being badly punctuated, little thought has gone into how the information is presented. If ideas are jumbled and illogical, you’re in trouble.

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Reporting for Duty: Plain English in Corporate Reports


Spotting plain English in a corporate report can be like finding Waldo! It’s because people often fear they’ll look stupid by presenting complex ideas simply. But, making information accessible is smart. In fact, it’s the whole point of communication. If your reader will need a dictionary to get through the first paragraph, it’s time for a rethink. Plain English will be your ally.

Be a straight shooter. Follow the K.I.S.S. design principle: “Keep It Short and Simple” (or more bluntly, “Keep It Simple, Stupid!”). Albert Einstein was on to something when he said, “Everything should be as simple as possible but not one bit simpler.”

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Are You Friend or Foe?: Legalese Versus Plain English

When we first meet someone, we ask ourselves, “Is this person friend or foe?” Our subconscious—or conscious—answer decides what follows. That’s why the legal profession must be so careful when dealing with the public. Legal language is too easily felt as the language of an enemy—an alienating Petri dish for mistrust.

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8 Tips for Plain English

Even if we’re winning at our job, know more than the average Joe, and are a member of an influential alma mater, clients and peers often judge us most by how well we write. In a nutshell—do they understand what we are saying? Success is a sure bet if we write well. Those skilled at unravelling verbiage, waffle, and corporate speak, who can relieve gobbledygook of its burden, cleave away self-importance, and medicate severity, are welcome in any team.

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Our Story

WordRake founder Gary Kinder has taught over 1,000 writing programs for AMLAW 100 firms, Fortune 500 companies, and government agencies. He’s also a New York Times bestselling author. As a writing expert and coach, Gary was inspired to create WordRake when he noticed a pattern in writing errors that he thought he could address with technology.

In 2012, Gary and his team of engineers created WordRake editing software to help writers produce clear, concise, and effective prose. It runs in Microsoft Word and Outlook, and its suggested changes appear in the familiar track-changes style. It saves time and gives confidence. Writing and editing has never been easier.