Plain Language Awards

Celebrate the stories of our clearest business communicators

Finalist: Best Plain English Sentence Transformation 2015

Cushla Schofield, ANZ

Name of document

ANZ Guarantee

Original sentence

If any Guaranteed Money is received by the Bank in a currency (“first currency”) other than the currency (“second currency”) in which it was denominated at the relevant time, the amount received will only satisfy the Guarantor’s obligation to pay the Guaranteed Money to the extent of the amount in the second currency which the Bank is able, in accordance with reasonable practice, to purchase with the amount received in the first currency on the date of that receipt (or if it is not practicable to make that purchase on that date, on the first date on which it is practicable to do so).

Rewritten sentence

You must also pay any money owing in the same currency the borrower owes it in. If you don’t, we’ll convert the amounts you pay into the same currency as any money owing. We’ll use exchange rates available on the day we receive the money from you or the day we process the payment, if this is later. If we have to convert the money you pay us, and it is less than any money owing, you’ll still owe us the difference. You’ll also need to pay any costs or losses we incur in converting the money you pay us.

Judges’ comment

You’ve done a great job of reducing the average sentence length. While the number of words in the original and in the rewrite is about the same (104 vs 100), the revised version now has five sentences, with an average sentence length of 20 words.

You’ve rewritten the sentences in clear, concise plain English and got rid of redundant terminology. We think you might be able to make it even more concise.

The original text is a nightmare — so complex it’s virtually meaningless. We really struggled to understand it. However, after reading your rewrite, we think you’ve captured the intent of the original. You’ve certainly made it much clearer.

Your revision is a vast improvement on the original. Well done for making any sense of it at all — let alone clarifying it well. While the new version is not much shorter, it is a masterpiece of clarity. Congratulations on a fabulous translation.

Media statement

At ANZ we are committed to using plain English, simplifying our documents one sentence at a time. We are proud to be a finalist for the Best Sentence Transformation. Our new plain English guarantee shows that it is possible to rewrite complex legal documents into clear and simple language.