EurActiv - Letters to the Editor

Sir,

Regarding ‘EU officials offered hotline for ‘clear writing’‘:

I was pleased to read that the European Commission is keen to promote and use clear language – not a quick or easy job.

I wonder, however, why DGT’s commissioner needed 27 words to say what 17, 14, 10 or 7 words would have said instead:

“I am making a personal commitment to check that not only my speeches and articles, but also those of my team, meet the criteria for clear writing.”

Androulla Vassiliou, DGT’s new commissioner, March 2010

27 words

Or:

“I promise that my team and I will try hard to write our speeches and articles clearly.”

17 words

Or:

“I promise that my team and I will write as clearly as we can.”

14 words

Or:

“I promise that my team and I will write clearly.”

10 words

Or:

“My team and I will write clearly.”

7 words

And so on.

Come on! Clarity needs hard work.

Nigel Grant

www.nigelgrant.co.uk

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Comments

  1. Well said Nigel. This remind me of David Belasco, the American theatrical producer, who said: “If you can’t write your idea on the back of my calling card, you don’t have a clear idea.”

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