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Re: CLear and simple language 4.1 note

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2002 06:04:21 -0400 (EDT)
To: Gregg Vanderheiden <GV@TRACE.WISC.EDU>
cc: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0206180558050.20796-100000@tux.w3.org>

I would like to re-propose that we drop the bit about "appropriate for the
content" since this seems to lead people to assume that it is OK to use
complex language (even unnecessarily complex language) to talk about complex

And agree with Gregg that we should be saying something like "Use clear and
simple language" - my original proposal at
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-gl/2002AprJun/0332 suggested "Use
language that is easy to understand".

The success criteria, naturally enough, should include the fact that any
simplification still conveys what the author is trying to say. And I think
that some of the things we talk about as requirements for documents, such as
having a discernible structure, are also success criteria at the level of
language use. For example the proposed criterion of one idea per paragraph,
with the first sentence sumarising it, is a lot like having a document that
uses headings to convey soome sense of the meaning of each section.



On Mon, 17 Jun 2002, Gregg Vanderheiden wrote:

  In compiling our notes from our teleconference last week, I realized
  that one of the things we had talked about was items that contributed to
  clear and simple writing, but that really belonged to other checkpoints.
  Items such as:

  - Structure your document well.
  - Emphasize the structure.
  - Include illustrations, etc.

  It occurred to me that, perhaps we are wording 4.1 wrong.  Rather than
  saying write as clearly as simply, perhaps the 4.1 should really be
  talking about "Use clear and simple language".

  I believe that this was a comment made by others earlier, but we somehow
  didn't pick up on it the teleconference today.

  Should we be changing this one to:

  "Use language which is as clear and simple as [appropriate or possible]
  for the purpose of the content."


  -- ------------------------------
  Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D.
  Professor - Human Factors
  Depts of Ind. Engr. & BioMed Engr.
  Director - Trace R & D Center
  University of Wisconsin-Madison
  Gv@trace.wisc.edu <mailto:Gv@trace.wisc.edu>, <http://trace.wisc.edu/>
  FAX 608/262-8848
  For a list of our listserves send "lists" to listproc@trace.wisc.edu

Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI  fax: +33 4 92 38 78 22
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Received on Tuesday, 18 June 2002 06:04:22 UTC

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