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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Why it's time for galleries to dump the jargon | Christina Patterson, The Independent

The art world uses words everyone else has dropped, writes blogger Christina Patterson.

When writing a blog post about an article I'm linking to, I often summarize key points of the article and include excerpts from it in my post. But I'm not doing that with this article. The language of the article is provocative and fun to read. I can't do it justice by summarizing it or taking excerpts from it. I encourage you to read it.

I'll just say that I agree with her point--not just about text on walls in art galleries but also about the language used in any field to explain itself or things it does. If you're not writing it so your readers will understand easily what you're thinking or trying to accomplish or want them to do, you'll likely to be perceived as self-centered or selfish.

I suppose in some fields and among some people, that's the point. But I don't buy it, figuratively, and your customers might not buy it either, literally. 

(I should acknowledge that in creative writing like fiction or poetry, the joy of reading it--and deciphering the unique language it uses--might be the purpose or goal of the writer and the reader. Quick understanding of such writing might not be the intent. I can buy that to some degree, figuratively, but depending on the story, I still might not buy it, literally.) 

That said, do you need some help connecting with your readers and trying to meet their needs? Check out Garbl's Plain English Writing Guide. It describes seven steps to help you do that:
  • Focusing on your reader and purpose
  • Organizing your ideas
  • Writing clear, effective paragraphs
  • Writing clear, simple sentences
  • Using suitable words
  • Creating an enticing design
  • Testing for clarity.
Patterson's article is featured today, Feb. 14, in my daily online paper, Garbl's Plain English Paragraphs, available at the Plain Language tab above and by free email subscription.

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