Another attempt at plain language

Tobias Bengfort tobias.bengfort at
Fri Sep 11 07:17:14 CEST 2015


On 10/09/15 17:24, Doug Ewell wrote:
> Is there enough convergence on what is being requested that someone,
> either Tobias or someone else, could create a registration form?

As my motivation is mostly accessibility, I wanted to get some more
input from experts in that area. So I tried to write to
w3c-wai-gl at Unfortunately, this did not yet work for technical
reasons. So it may take me some more time.

> I'm still not sure whether the proposal is for "plain language" in the
> government sense, meaning content that gets right to the point and
> doesn't beat around the bush, or "simplified language" that a child or
> second-language learner could understand. These are different concepts.

I am sorry if I contributed to that confusion by using "plain". I had
thought it might cover all of this, which it apparently does not. Which
term is used in the end also depends on the exact semantics. The
candidates I recall are "plain", "easy", "simple", "basic", and "cnl".

I am also not sure about the distinction you make. There are clearly
different kinds of "simplified language" that are targeted at different
audiences. IMHO "plain" is just one more style of simplified language.
However, I have not yet found a sound definition for this.


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