Want readers to understand you? Bring on the jargon slayers

The next time you’re tempted to write that a court case was “dismissed with prejudice” or that your company is “conducting a needs assessment to evaluate just-in-time work flows,” back away from the word processing station. Translation: Computer.

These special or technical words, phrases and idioms are known as jargon and they are difficult for most readers to understand. Messaging should be simple and clear, especially when it comes to marketing your company. Jargon doesn’t sound more impressive or make ordinary ideas sound important – it only muddies the intended message.

The most common objection is, “Everyone in our industry knows what that term means, so it’s fine.”

I’ll let you in on a secret: Clear and concise language makes you a better communicator. Be direct and you’ll engage new readers (and thus new customers) who might not otherwise invest in your products and services. You’ll also increase the chances that your content will go “viral.” Translation: It will be popular and a lot of people will share it.

About Dawn

Dawn is the senior editor at The Simons Group. As a grammar queen, she'd rather lose her wallet than misplace an apostrophe. Fellow copy ninjas unite -- you have an ally.

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