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Logo of brjgenpracRCGP homepageJ R Coll Gen Pract at PubMed CentralBJGP at RCGPBJGP at RCGP
Br J Gen Pract. 2008 June 1; 58(551): 436.
PMCID: PMC2418999

Plain English

Andrew Bolton, a very successful fund manager, advises that whenever you plan to buy a stock, try to explain the reason for your choice in a few simple sentences that your teenage children can understand.

I have recently applied this stratagem to the ‘conclusion’ section of BJGP original article summaries. Complete confusion ensues; the sentences are long and obfuscatory and the point/benefit of the research baffling to my children and myself.

Please try to use simple clearer English. If a research team cannot really explain simply what they are trying to do and why, ask for a revised draft. Does the College now have a in-house style that few ordinary jobbing GPs can understand?

NB enjoyed the Pickles Lecture1 and the ‘proper doctor’ vignette.2


1. Hilton S. Education and the changing face of medical professionalism: from priest to mountain guide? Br J Gen Pract. 2008;58(550):353–361. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
2. Lester H. On being a proper doctor. Br J Gen Pract. 2008;58(550):378. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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