Happy Plain English Day—Dec 14

Plain EnglishToday, December 14, is Plain English Day, a day for celebrating the “campaign against gobbledygook, jargon and misleading public information.” That phrase and supposedly the Day itself come from the Plain English Campaign, a British organization that bestows awards like the Foot in Mouth Award, the Kick in the Pants Award, and the Golden Bull Award every December to recognize “the worst of the year’s written tripe.”

Unfortunately for the celebratory mood, the Plain English Campaign’s website no longer mentions Plain English Day, if it ever did. And the Day is getting no buzz online. December 14 has no Wikipedia page or any other kind of page that I can find. Even the Literature Review HQ web page and tweets, which pop to the top of my searches, are coated with a couple years’ worth of edust.

Plain English tweets

So it’s a small party that I’m inviting you to. You’re here; that’s what counts.

I’m celebrating the Day by passing on a plain list of my favorite writing-related books:

For my long list of favorites, see “Resources for Writers.”

What writing books top your list? No fair citing mine. Tell me plainly.

2 thoughts on “Happy Plain English Day—Dec 14

  1. For fiction, I love Stephen King’s “On Writing.” For non-fiction I’ve found continued value in “Good Prose” by Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd.

    • Thanks for those suggestions, Monique. I’ve read parts of King’s “On Writing”—people cite that one a lot. You may have just given me the prompt I need to finally get a copy. As for the other book, I admire Tracy Kidder. (His “Mountains Beyond Mountains” is one of my favorite books.) Good to know that he has a book on writing!

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