My latest post on STC’s “Notebook”

Karen Field CarrollUncategorized

Learn more about plain language in technical communication: Check out my post this month on the STC blog. http://notebook.stc.org/plainly-speaking-be-the-users-mentor-not-the-companys-mouthpiece/

Only You Can Make it Plain

Karen Field CarrollUncategorized

Last week I wrote an article for a charity newsletter about the charity’s annual banquet. I opened with this paragraph: We’d had a lovely evening. As I sat at our table at the banquet last month, check book open, pen poised to jot down a donation, I looked back over the last two hours. (Yeah, not my best work. Let’s … Read More

One Word Turns Pain into Plain

Karen Field CarrollUncategorized

Recently, due to an almost-fire in the kitchen that filled the house with smoke but not with the shriek of our supposedly working smoke detectors, I decided to test said detectors. Online I discovered a product designed for just this task, a spray called Chekkit Smoke Detector Tester. The can tells me that when I spray Chekkit near a smoke … Read More

The Style Guide Every Plain Language Technical Writer Needs

Karen Field CarrollUncategorized

Forget the Microsoft Manual of Style. Forget Sun Microsystem’s Read Me First! I recently came across John R. Kohl’s The Global English Style Guide: Writing Clear, Translatable Documentation for a Global Market, and it is now my only resource for questions of grammar, style, and clarity in plain-language writing. Kohl wrote the book for “anyone who uses written English to … Read More

Thinking about Writing: It’s Confused (and Opinionated)

Karen Field CarrollUncategorized

I spent an hour on hold with the phone company the other day. One of the advertisements I endured during my wait talked about the company’s high-speed Internet services. “You can download a standard-length song is as little as two seconds,” said the voice, “your favorite TV shows in as few as two minutes, and a full movie in as … Read More

The STC and the Plain Regulations Act

Karen Field CarrollUncategorized

Curious about technical communication and the Plain laws? Read my post about how technical communicators can support the Plain Regulations Act of 2013 on the STC’s blog  at http://notebook.stc.org/at-the-intersection-of-plain-language-and-technical-communication/.

Thinking about Writing: It’s Contextual

Karen Field CarrollUncategorized

A confession: When I’m not writing, reading, loving on my pets, hanging out with my husband, exercising, or stitching, I’m watching HGTV. So I guess it’s no surprise that I’ve learned something about plain language from the network: the importance of context. The show: “Sarah’s House” The speaker: Interior designer Tommy (who’s adorable, by the way) The topic: The layout … Read More

Thinking about Writing: It’s Tense

Karen Field CarrollUncategorized

I love commercials; They give me so much fodder for my blog. Here’s a line from a recent commercial for a stop-smoking drug. In the ad, the speaker describes how she reacted when her doctor told her about the drug. “When the doctor told me I could smoke the first week, I’m like, OK. Little did I know that, one … Read More

Thinking about Writing: Mutilated Metaphors

Karen Field CarrollUncategorized

In this blog, I teach how to use plain language to write clear technical documents. To me, plain language equals good writing. To teach the principles of good writing, I like using examples of bad writing. To do that, I need examples of bad writing, and they aren’t hard to find. Usually, I just have to turn on the TV … Read More