About the author

Caryn Gootkin

After studying languages at UCT and law at UNISA and Cambridge, Caryn Gootkin practised as a lawyer for nine years before realising that her true passion was for words and the way they are used and abused. She has recently started in other words providing copy editing, proofreading and plain language rewriting services. Contact: caryn@cybersmart.co.za / www.inotherwordscg.co.za cell: 084 703 0777 | fax: 086 692 0391

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  • Mandy Collins

    Fabulous post as always, Caryn. Your plain language pieces should be required reading for companies and corporations.

    • http://twitter.com/inotherwordscg Caryn Gootkin

      Thank you, Mandy. I suspect, though, that the culprits are the last people to read pieces such as mine.

  • Lisa

    It is interesting to note, that at the present time in Parliament, conditions are such that superfluous phrases are used in order to, and in recognition of the fact that one might sound important when one is making a statement :)
    (I count 7 in there)

    • http://twitter.com/inotherwordscg Caryn Gootkin


  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.vanderschyff Peter Van Der Schyff

    Two profound quotes come to mind:
    1. “Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say “infinitely” when you mean “very”; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite” – CS Lewis
    2. “Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning” – Maya Angelou

    Both add value to the concept of plain English.

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