Blame it on your 9th-grade English teacher. It turns out, the way she taught you to write is all wrong. And if you’re writing to influence your readers, your customers, or god-forbid your patients, it’s going to get you into trouble.

MSNBC just got around today to responding to an Institute of Medicine report, Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion, first published in 2004. In Health Literacy, the IOM reported that 40 million Americans cannot read complex medical notes and texts at all,¬†and a whopping 90 million of us have trouble understanding them. That’s half the country misunderstanding medical advice. And even for those of us who are not currently patients, there’s a critical lesson about communicating with customers. Read the rest of this entry