Press Releases

Beyond plain English: why they find it so hard to talk to us – University of Reading

Release Date : 30 November 2009


Ever wondered why those tax forms are so difficult to comprehend? Why do organisations keep talking to us in ways we can't understand, when plain English seems so simple? On Tuesday 8 December, Professor Rob Waller will ask why this problem persists when he presents 'Beyond plain English: why they find it so hard to talk to us'.

This is the 3rd talk in the University's fascinating 2009/2010 Public Lecture Series and as always will be given in a manner that is easily understood by all.

Professor Waller said: "This lecture will identify some of the issues that lie behind the poor communications we receive from government agencies and business organisations. It will also highlight new research being developed at the University of Reading's Simplification Centre and how it's being shared with public-facing organisations."

"As one of the major providers of education in the Thames Valley, we are very keen to hold these kinds of public lectures," said Laura Walsh, organiser of the Public Lecture Series. "Lectures are given by researchers eminent in their field and offer a unique opportunity to learn about the cutting-edge research, teaching and people that make the University a world-class institute. The lectures are incredibly popular with all sorts of different people, and always lead to some lively debate afterwards."

All of the University Public Lectures start at 8pm and will be held in the Palmer Building n the University's Whiteknights campus. Lectures are free to attend and no ticket is required. Please visit the public lecture series website for more details or contact Laura Walsh on 0118 378 4313 or email


For all media enquiries please contact James Barr, University of Reading Press Officer on 0118 378 7115 or by email on

  • The University of Reading is rated as one of the top 200 universities in the world (THE-QS World Rankings 2009).


  • The University of Reading is one of the UK's top research-intensive universities. The University is ranked in the top 20 UK higher education institutions in securing research council grants worth nearly £10 million from EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC, AHRC and BBSRC. In the RAE 2008, over 87% of the university's research was deemed to be of international standing. Areas of particular research strength recognised include meteorology and climate change, typography and graphic design, archaeology, philosophy, food biosciences, construction management, real estate and planning, as well as law.


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