James Archibald


Canada / Italy

As a proponent of clear writing, he introduced a series of lectures on the importance of plain language during his tenure as the director of McGill University’s graduate program in jurilinguistics. This led to his participation in the initial working group that developed the international standard officially adopted by ISO in 2023. His explanation of the plain language movement’s evolution was the object of an extensive interview aired on DGT’s Radio Lingvistika in 2020 during which he discussed the key findings of the 2020 Clarity conference co-sponsored by PLAIN, “Access For All: Plain Language”. Of interest to jurists was plain legal writing as a precondition for the full exercise of rights, an issue of concern to all. ( Episode 67: Access For All: Plain Language (podomatic.com) )
Archibald currently teaches at the University of Turin in the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures and Cultural Studies after having taught at McGill University for 35 years. In addition to his teaching and research, he chairs ISO’s international committee on terminology workflows and language coding (TC37 ̸ SC2). A former Vice President of the Association for Business Communication, he is also an honorary life member of the Modern Language Association of America. His research focuses on communications, translation and glottopolitics.