Reg BI Disclosure Does Not Pass Readability Test

By DIANA BRITTON, WEALTHMANAGEMENT.COM — The Securities and Exchange Commission has circulated a mockup of its Customer Relationship Summary form, a disclosure requirement in its proposed Regulation Best Interest, which is meant to alleviate client confusion about the differences between brokers and registered investment advisors. But the mockup didn’t pass a simple readability test conducted by Dr. Deborah Bosley, owner of The Plain Language Group. Bosley found that the document was Read more [...]

Fiduciary Group: Brokers Must Tell Customers ‘We Do Not Represent You’

By TRACEY LONGO, FINANCIAL ADVISOR MAGAZINE — “There is a lot of jargon and information that is not telling the whole story or implies that things will be better in a broker situation than in a fiduciary situation, which of course is not true, so in our rewrite we tried to be very clear about differences between brokers and advisors,” said Deborah S. Bosley, principal of The Plain Language Group, which was retained by the Fiduciary Institute to do a qualitative review of the SEC’s Read more [...]

Hearing on Controversial N.H. Voting Law SB3 Wraps Up

By CASEY MCDERMOTT, NEW HAMPSHIRE PUBLIC RADIO — The plaintiffs called on Bosley, a communications consultant who spent decades teaching technical writing, to analyze the readability of the language on new voter registration documents used under SB3. Specifically, Bosley looked at the new voter registration form and a set of instructions given to voters about what steps they need to take to follow the new voting law. She performed a series of tests analyzing the documents’ complexity Read more [...]

Making the Business Case for Content Clarity

Think back to the past week and all the content you consumed. Did you read anything that was so muddled that you had to reread it? Did you receive any long, rambling emails that you had to spend 10 minutes decoding? Read more [...]

Who Thinks Clarity Matters?

Bank of America’s CEO Brian Moynihan was the guest speaker at a World Affairs Council luncheon in Charlotte last month. At the VIP reception prior to the lunch, I wanted to talk with him because if financial regulations are rolled back, the requirement for clear and conspicuous disclosures might be lost. As the Federal Trade Commission states, “‘Clear and conspicuous’ is a performance standard, not a font size.” If regulations that require clarity are rolled back, you can count on financial Read more [...]

How to Make The Business Case for Clarity

Content Connections 2017 – How to Make The Business Case for Clarity
Learn what Brian Moynihan thinks about the importance of plain language.

Speaker: Deborah S. Bosley, Owner, Principal / Associate Professor Emerita, The Plain Language Group / UNC Charlotte


How to Meet Compliance Requirements for Plain Language

“How to Meet Compliance Requirements for Plain Language” for the Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE), January 2015

Speaker: Deborah Bosley, Owner Principal, The Plain Language Group

Download the PDF

Demand to Understand: How Plain Language Makes Life Simpler | Deborah Bosley | TEDxCharlotte

Tired of trying to read information that is confusing, complex, and irritating?

I believe that as citizens we have the right to receive information that is clear, concise, and credible. This talk with teach you what you can do to insist on clarity.

Empathy: The Forgotten Element in Successful Content Creation

BY DEBORAH S. BOSLEY, OWNER AND PRINCIPAL, THE PLAIN LANGUAGE GROUP — October 27, 2015 As published on THE CONTENT WRANGLER “People who lean on logic and philosophy and rational exposition end by starving the best part of the mind.” This quote by William Butler Yeats, one of Ireland’s most famous writers, illustrates a problem we have in the content creation community. We create a multitude of written material, but we rely primarily on logical structures, building authority, plain Read more [...]

The Needless Complexity of Academic Writing

A new movement strives for simplicity. BY VICTORIA CLAYTON, THE ATLANTIC — October 26, 2015 “Persistence is one of the great characteristics of a pitbull, and I guess owners take after their dogs,” says Annetta Cheek, the co-founder of the D.C.-based nonprofit Center for Plain Language. Cheek, an anthropologist by training who left academia in the early 1980s to work for the Federal Aviation Commission, is responsible for something few people realize exists: the 2010 Plain Writing Act. Read more [...]