Paula Haapanen

Lappeenranta, Finland

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Paula Haapanen
Posted over 2 years ago
How can we simplify legal/business language?
A big hello from one Canadian to another! I work at a university in Finland and some of my colleagues are really interested in the 'popularization' of research and I think this could be a great idea for us too. Please e-mail me as well with more info: paula[dot]haapanen[at]lut[dot]fi.
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Paula Haapanen
Posted over 2 years ago
How can we simplify legal/business language?
I teach English in Finland and we talk about plain English as a slow but growing movement, even within academic circles. However, academic English still has its conventions and they are followed because they serve as 'proof of entry' into a specific community for some and restricted entry for others. I think the same applies to the language in legal and goverment documents; even though normal everyday people have them and sign them (!) they are never truly meant for a larger public but for a small community. Once the drafting of documents becomes a more inclusive endeavour involving large groups of people (think about Iceland's crowdsourced consititution), the language will become simpler because the document is really meant to be accessible to a larger public. Now to be fair, I can't read Icelandic, so I can't be sure that the consitution they are writing IS in simple language, but I would bet money that it probably is.