Plain Language Act:

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TL;DR on the actual guidelines (ironically), but I don't think most legislation has too much trouble with clear wording. The very reason legislation is so long is that it must be excruciatingly clear and unambiguous to avoid loopholes.

Where trouble usually comes is when the writers don't notice an edge case and fail to provide for it.

I think the current wording style works quite well, but I also think that it would be good to A) have plainspeak AND legalspeak versions publicly available well in advance of any vote, and B) Expect lawmakers to actually know what they are voting on (speaking from experience, they often must have their own bills explained to them before any changes can be requested).
Any attempt to regulate the language is foolish because language is natural, ever-evolving and deeply rooted in our consciousness. It will either fail or grow into some kind of [[Newspeak]].
"Take your (...) hippy dream world, I'll take reality and earning my happiness with my own efforts" - Barkey
28 del_diablo21st May 2011 04:00:46 PM from Somewher in mid Norway
Den harde nordmann
breadloaf: As a non-native speaker I had to read that twice, just to avoid falling into long pitfalls regarding if it was written with double negative or not.
"Max jail sentence is 15 years" sounds a lot more clear?
A guy called dvorak is tired. Tired of humanity not wanting to change to improve itself. Quite the sad tale.
Not Actually Indie
I'm personally all for it. It's entirely possible to be clear and unambiguous without being inaccessible, and legalese is more of an affectation than a necessity.

Sure, it's entirely possible to decipher government documents if you have a decent education and are willing to make the effort, but the government does not exist only to serve people with good educations, and it's a bad idea to underestimate how significant a barrier mere trivial inconveniences pose.
...eventually, we will reach a maximum entropy state where nobody has their own socks or underwear, or knows who to ask to get them back.
The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
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Total posts: 29
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