Bank of England staffers have a very unusual language coach – Dr Seuss. They realized that the children’s author could be adopted to make their communication easily understood by the general public.
The bank’s former deputy governor for markets Dame Nemat ‘Minouche’ Shafik revealed this during the at the annual literature festival Hay Festival on Sunday. She informed that earlier the bank found that only one in five people could understand its inflation report.
“Dr Seuss was a master at using simple language, at getting children to read. We did a little research at the Bank of England on the linguistic complexity of our own publications and found that our typical publications, like our inflation report, were only accessible to one in five of the population of the UK, given average literacy levels,” said Shafik to explain why the bankers went looking for help to a children’s author. She added that BoE had analyzed ‘The Cat in the Hat’ author’s writings soon after the inflation report came out.
Commenting about the low understanding of the reports, she said, “Clearly that’s not good enough. It’s not about dumbing down … the people who really know their stuff can explain things in simple and accessible language.’
The former banker informed that United Kingdom’s central bank made its staffers read the classic children’s books in search of examples of ‘very simple language and very short words.’
Shafik argued that economists often failed to engage with the general public because of their dry and logical manner of communication. She acknowledged the need for making an effort to tell the economic stories with much more clarity.