(Photo credit: NY Photographic)
The term ‘eg’ is being written out of gov.uk because it can sometimes be read incorrectly by software that reads webpages for those with visual impairment, for example as ‘egg’. That’s jarring to hear the wrong words, according to the team behind the government website.
Promoting plain English is behind the move as well, with phrases such as ie’ and ‘etc’ also being consigned to the internet dustbin. Even people with high literacy levels can get thrown by these terms when reading webpages in a hurry, according to a blog post by the government digital service. The official style guide is therefore being changed for gov.uk and content creators across government being informed about the amendments.
Going forward, the recommendation is that ‘eg’ and ‘etc’ are no longer used and that ‘for example’, ‘such as’ and ‘including’ can be used in their place, along with ‘like’ in place of eg, depending on context. Writers are also being urged to avoid using ‘ie’ by rewriting a sentence to avoid its use or replace it with ‘meaning’ or ‘that is’. However, there changes won’t happen overnight with thousands of uses of the term ‘eg’ on the site. The identified phrases will no longer be used in new content and will be replaced as webpages are updated. The move underlines the importance of ensuring accessibility across all areas of life.