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There is No "Correct" English

I was raised in Ames, Iowa. This area is home of many broadcasters who set the stage for Midwestern English to become the standard for clear communication. I didn't learn grammar and Plain Language in school, I grew up immersed in it.

As the daughter of a science professor, I was also exposed to people who came to Ames speaking many variations of English. Many of them used phrases that were grammatically correct where they grew up but not the way I would speak. I was fascinated by the idea of regional variations in English - Texan, British, etc. Many students were not native English speakers and listened to how they spoke. I remember I could tell that a student from Nigeria was taught English by somebody who was from Russia. When I was in middle school, we lived in a country where formal grammar rules were actually set by law and children called their parents Mr. and Mrs. I became fascinated by levels of formality.

Keep it Simple

I'm very good at a style of writing that has become known as Plain Language. This means I never use jargon or 3-dollar-words when a simple term will work just as well. I can use 5-dollar words when needed, but I prefer not to show off. I can speak fluent medicalese and science, but I don't.

I also tailor my language to the audience. For example, I might use "jury-rigging" with my sailing friends, "baling wire" with friends from home, "McGuyvering" with my kids and "chewing gum and duct tape" with people who are not native English speakers. I used to speak three other languages so I know how to clean up the idioms and colloquialisms before giving it to a translator.

I love to teach. I've conducted in-services for pediatricians and I speak to audiences ranging from pregnant teens to nurses. I love an informal format but I've also lectured in halls so large they had Jumbotrons. When giving one speech about GERD to congressional wives, I gave them the basic info, told three touching stories about real families and had them reaching for their hankies - - in less than three minutes!

Most people have to struggle to write in Plain English or Plain Language. It is easy for me. That means I am fast and I can save you time and money.

Short, sweet and to the point. That's me! Yes, I'm the short one in the first photo. The tall one is my amazing daughter. Her medical issues inspired me to become a writer.

CV and Resume