Guide to Plain English

04 August,2011 by Jack Vamvas

Guide to plain english I set myself  a challenge to read  12 books in the upcoming year related to “professional development” .( Professional Development and Soft Skills Training Books for the SQL Server DBA)

 I’ve just finished the The Penguin guide to Plain English by Harry Blamires . These are the main points.

 Objective :  Express yourself clearly and effectively

1)       Effective use of English depends on straight thinking

2)       Never waste words ,  if a thing can be said briefly

      “To be or not to be, that is the question”

3)       Clarify your memory mentally before you write  a word.

Compare the difference between these two sentences

a)      “The history of SQL Server code  in this decade is of unrivalled excellence”

b)      “Excellent DBAs were early adopters of SQL Server code best practises in our decade”

4)       Plain English will use words that are appropriate to the context.

Appropriate: We attended an awards ceremony

Inappropriate: We attended a café.

5)       If arguing or reasoning ,  use paragraphing

6)       Replacing nouns by verbs often simplifies meaning

‘could be removed’ replaces ‘elimination’

‘equalized’ replaces ‘equalisation’

‘strengthened’ replaces ‘strengthening’

7)       Plain English is never muddled

8)       Plain English has a directness which ensures its meaning will never seem more complex than it is.

9)       Avoid wordiness. “Have something to say and say it as clearly as you can”


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Professional Development and Soft Skills Training Books for the SQL Server DBA


Author: Jack Vamvas (


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