Clean Global English

Question: Is there such a thing as GCE (Global Clean English)? This question came up as we were reviewing a recent job applicant's resume. We adhere to plain language in our work, but I have not heard of GCE. Responses I did a web search: google, ask, yahoo, and all I came up with were job reqs for HP requiring Global Clean English. "Ability to write in Global Clean English and according to established international guidelines." No other references to GCE. ********** I think the person is referring to Global English. The "clean" part might be a title used by the person or organization from whom s/he obtained the training. It's a localization issue, that is, how to write documents in English using vocabulary that anyone in the target audience knowing English can understand--for instance, without connotations, idiomatic expressions, cultural references, etc. I'm not sure this is possible on a large scale, but could be targeted to English speakers in a few countries or within a geographical region. See here: ********** I've heard of Simplified Technical English, Plain English, and Controlled English. I suspect there is some minor distinction for GCE but that it's in the same area as STE or Controlled English. ********** Evidently it is a Hewlett Packard standard: Another person also said, "I think this is a term that HP made up; more common terms are International English, Simplified English, and Controlled English." ********** Since no one in your office (or on this list) is familiar with the term, you could try asking the candidate. You'll find out what Global Clean English is, and you also might find out about the candidate's ability to explain things--always an important trait in technical writing. Let us know if you find out! ********** ********** My first thought of what Global Clean English would be is something akin to the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language. I think that's what my mother was trying to enforce with the help of Ivory soap. Unlike most languages, English has resisted oversight and enforcement of what is proper and what is vulgar. There is what is loosely referred to as the "Queen's English" but that's hardly rigorous. On the bright side, English, not being tightly regulated, is a wildly creative language. I believe English also has (by far) the largest vocabulary of any spoken language. I doubt that the average speaker would trade the freedom of making up words to suit the situation (teenagers come to mind) for the clarity that comes from having a formalized and relatively unchanging vocabulary. Nonetheless in the practice of technical communication where our goal is to communicate clearly, I think that formalized use of language would reduce confusion (too many ways to say the same thing) and facilitate localization. ********** Global Clean English is a standard at many companies, including HP. The focus of GCE is writing content that can be more easily localized. ********** I've never heard of it. Search engine results produce only job descriptions that mention it, and I can't find it in a quick search of TECHWR-L and the STC editing SIG listserv. I'd be curious to know where she got this training (and why a company that offers this training wouldn't promote it on the web). ********** I expect GCE is Hewlitt-Packard's equivalent to Eastman Kodak's KISL (Kodak International Service Language). While user documentation is translated into every language under the eight-count-'em-eight planets, service documentation for internal use by company employees is -- or was the last time I checked -- all in English with a limited, strictly controlled vocabulary. Being experienced with KISL used to be guarantee of job security in the 1970s, before they realized that if they could train new service techs on KISL in less than a week, they could probably train new writers in less time.