How NOT to Write for the Public

A colleague passed along this little gem from an email message yesterday: “IEER’s comments on the DOE’s NOI to prepare EIS on Disposal of GTCC LLRW are now posted on the web at….” Apparently, this translates to “Comments of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research on the Department of Energy’s Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Disposal of Greater-Than-Class-C Low-Level Radioactive Waste” (not much of an improvement, though it makes perfect sense for those In The Know). Sad thing is, I’ve seen press materials and even online action alerts intended for the general public that weren’t much more comprehensible. Something like this is fine for insiders, but not for normal political communications — always remember your audience!


Written by
Colin Delany
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