I recently spent a few days grappling with government regulations written for the public. Together with my Dad, who is in his 80's, we tried to get some answers to simple Medicare questions about prescription drugs. I almost gave up when I realized that I still had no clue, after spending hours trying to read the government's guidance. I'm a Harvard-trained lawyer, and I couldn't understand them. I looked at my Dad, and I wondered what seniors are supposed to do who are often old and sick, and might not have a Harvard-lawyer around the house to help them.
Thankfully, there's a very worthwhile initiative, to get the US Federal government to use Plain English. Indeed, I think it's worthwhile to simply quote from the government's site directly:
President Obama signed the Plain Writing Act of 2010 on October 13, 2010. The law requires that federal agencies use "clear Government communication that the public can understand and use." On January 18, 2011, he issued a new Executive Order, "E.O. 13563 - Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review." It states that "[our regulatory system] must ensure that regulations are accessible, consistent, written in plain language, and easy to understand."