Roger That, Plain Language is Go

Today's Morning Edition had Chris Essid from Virginia talking about efforts to allow first responders to communicate more effectively.

The interesting bit wasn't the examples of 10-codes which don't work (one city using a number that means something entirely different than the state or another city or county, i.e. your cows on the highway is my drunken brawl) but his repeated use of the term plain language.

Plain language and first responders must be a really interesting effort. If you've ever worked extensively with police or fire, you know they use words no one else in the world uses. Often. (They call this "law enforcement vocabulary" and require it for translators.) Sometimes I think the words did not exist until one guy used them in his report and every other officer said, "oooooohhhh." and used it as well.

Viriginia's efforts would have to be not just about dropping the confusing codes, but about getting the responders to all use the same simple words to describe things. So, no more "intoxicated disturbance at an entertainment establishment" but "drunken guy at a bar." (You get the idea).

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