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Hu Jintao
America lags on plain speech
America lags on plain speech

The Internet is changing how leaders talk. Leaders from Rome to Beijing and beyond are helping usher in a new era of plain speaking. But American leaders are lagging behind, stuck in old patterns of windy and obfuscatory speech. Around the globe, what's in? Plain words, concision, and speech that is clear on who does what. Consider the Catholic Church's new leader, Pope Francis. In just two weeks, he's made a deep impression with simple robes, plain shoes, and direct speech. On Palm Sunday, in his first major address before a crowd of a quarter-million people, Pope Francis drew on the homespun wisdom of his "nonna" to argue that Christians must resist the...