Writing style

Our content is:

  • specific
  • informative
  • to the point.

We include only as much information as the user will need to finish a task or move onto the next step.

We don’t add any background or historical information when it’s not helpful straightaway.

Plain English

We want everyone to understand us, so we use plain English. We keep it conversational, but not too casual.

We avoid formal or technical words when easy or short words will do.

 

buy, not purchase

help, not assist

about, not approximately

 

If we need to use a technical or legal term, we explain what it means in plain English.

Active voice

We use active voice rather than the passive voice.

Active voice is when the subject of the sentence performs the action of the verb.

 

You need to lodge an application.

An application will need to be lodged by you.

 

Personal pronouns

We use first person (we, us) and second person (you) to speak directly to our users.

Think of it as a conversation. We speak to people, not at them or down to them.

 

Let us know if you’re having trouble

Applicants having difficulties should contact Service NSW.

 

Inclusive language

Discrimination-neutral

We use language that is free from words, phrases or tones that reflect prejudiced, stereotyped or discriminatory views of particular people or groups.

When we talk about people, we only talk about their individual characteristics when it’s directly relevant to the content.

Carefully consider language involving:

  • gender and gender identity
  • sexual orientation
  • marital status
  • language, culture, race or ethnicity
  • immigration status
  • age
  • disability or impairment
  • mental health
  • socioeconomic status
  • personal appearance.

If you have a trained assistance animal, you’re legally entitled to take your animal with you when you use NSW public transport.

Blind and/or handicapped people who rely on assistance animals can take their animal with them on NSW public transport.

 

Gender-neutral

We use gender-neutral language.

 

them, their, theirs, they’re

police officer

firefighter

chair

him, her, his, hers, he, she

policewoman

fireman

chairman

 

Device-neutral

Customers use all types of devices to read our content. Use verbs that apply to desktops, mobile devices, touch-screens and accessibility screen readers.

Select the ‘Next’ button.

Click the ‘Next’ button.

 

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