Category: Simplify

Mr Men vs Ms Contract Writer

I love the Mr Men books by Roger Hargreaves. Not so much for their stories (bad turns to good) but for the simplicity of the illustrations. As Roger Hargreaves’ wikipedia entry says the books were simple and humorous stories, with brightly coloured, boldly drawn illustrations … part of popular culture

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Simplify Your Contract Strategy

The organisation Clarity is brimming with lovely lawyers and legal consultants fascinated by how we can simplify legal documents and overcome the barriers to changing traditional drafting. After a recent meeting, Cathy Wilcox introduced me to the Pathclearer project, and its developer – Steve Weatherley then Head of Legal at

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Accuracy, Brevity and Clarity

The rule for simplicity [read more] is neatly espoused by Joseph Pulitzer: Put it to them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it and, above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light As a lawyer and

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Clear Communication

Clear communication means that users can understand what they have to do, when they have to do it, and change their behaviour accordingly. What should you do? If you want to remove the padding in your communication or in your contracts then you should: work out who your reader, audience

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The Dotted Line: Keep it simple sweetheart

Over the summer months each newsletter will focus most of its attention on one of my four themes: showstoppers, trust, dispute avoidance or simplicity. This edition is designed to help you appreciate the importance of simplicity. Read the full edition here » If you’d like to receive The Dotted Line

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Serendipitous Simplicity

Simplicity means is best described using this definition of plain language A communication is in plain language if its wording, structure, and design are so clear that the intended audience can easily find what they need, understand what they find, and use that information. Source: International Plain Language Federation So

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Your Contract Pains

I love the idea that we could create contracts that ordinary people will read, understand and use. Verity White’s Secret of Productive Contracts is another step in the right direction. Verity’s focus is on paperless contracts to speed up the contracting process. I was both delighted and a little bemused

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The Dotted Line: Don’t win this award

One of my favourite workshop activities is to ask delegates to improve award-winning contracts. Naturally, I use winners of awards for poor language (eg the Golden Bull Awards). It’s hard to believe both the quality of the drafting and the excuses given, like this apology from Scottish Power “Legal definitions often

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Contracts Win Prizes for Clarity

Contracts win prizes, although not in this case… It is common ground that the Deed of Variation in this case would win no drafting prizes for precision or clarity. It included errors … which are acknowledged by both sides, and it also struggled to convey the essential agreement reached between

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Thinking Time

Every professional writer knows that [a] period of just-sitting-and-thinking between legwork and outline is the most important part of the whole writing process Rudolph Flesch, Art of Readable Writing As busy professionals we rarely have time to stop and think. But using your subconscious to create order from the wealth

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