ERIC Number: ED265565
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1986-Feb
Analyzing the Various Approaches of Plain Language Laws. CDC Technical Report No. 29.
Bowen, B. A.; And Others
Noting that plain language laws--designed to put the consumer on a more equal footing with business and industry when signing business contracts--have become an important new kind of legislation, this paper traces the development of such legislation and the need to evaluate its effectiveness. The first section of the paper describes the federal impetus for plain language laws, examining President Carter's executive order for plain language and why it largely failed, and efforts by the Reagan administration that resulted in the Plain English Forum. The second section examines state legislation to regulate the clarity of consumer contracts, and the issues of criteria and compliance raised by these laws. The third section examines the need for evaluating plain language legislation to determine which laws best meet plain language objectives, while the last two sections detail the two phases of an evaluation strategy: analysis of contracts and consumers' ability to use them, and analysis of the design process that led to the contracts that are easiest to use. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Carnegie-Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA. Communications Design Center.