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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ann Green's Nonprofit Blog: Don't Use Jargon

Ann Green's advice -- stated clearly in her headline -- is so obviously correct that it seems needless to say. But, unfortunately, it's equally obvious that not everyone realizes or accepts that using unexplained jargon annoys readers and listeners, at best.

At worst, using unexplained jargon frustrates and confuses readers/listeners and, ultimately, prompts them to stop reading or listening.

And what's the point of that? Why waste time, money and energy writing something that people likely won't understand or won't read?

Green writes:
I think people use jargon because it's an insider language, and it makes them feel like they are "in the know" in their professional world.
She covers these topics in her blog:
  • People need to understand you to connect with you
  • Use fresh language
  • Get rid of all your jargon
  • Don't get sent to jargon jail.
Green also links to several useful Web resources, including the Using suitable words section of Garbl's Plain English Writing Guide. I appreciated that!

Green's blog is featured in today's (June 13) Garbl's Good Cause Communications, available at the Nonprofit Communications tab above. Of course, the advice applies to all types of writing, at least when you're writing for an audience that does not use the jargon in its daily work.

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