Mind Your Language

Communicate clearly­

You have something to say? Why confuse, annoy or alienate? Decide exactly what you want to communicate. Speak and write clearly, using plain English, so that everyone can easily understand.

Know your readers; know your audience. Put yourself in their shoes and choose your words carefully. Be direct and speak plainly with words they can grasp. If they cannot understand you, why should they listen to you?

Use appropriate words--simple, everyday words. Call a spade a spade, not a digging implement, and certainly not an excavation solution. If you can take advantage of a popular expression to illustrate a point, do it. Make your sentences easy. Don't use jargon. If you're forced to use a technical term, explain what it means.

Remember any fool can make an idea sound complicated; it takes rigorous and careful thought to keep it simple. 

Plain English is direct and concise. It creates a better impression on the reader or listener. And so you and your project will appear friendly and helpful.

 

Some hints to help you on your way:

And remember, keep it simple:

Now you stand a better chance of being understood. And your message will be easily remembered.

 

And finally... 

 

 ...get someone to proofread your work. You may be too close to what you've written to spot your own gobbledegook or long-windedness. You may have sweated blood researching the content of your work. But don't get too emotionally attached to it and be prepared to hand it over for editing before it reaches your readers. If you have a few minutes, read this article again and let me know how you could improve it.  I'm still learning too!

© Owen Spencer-Thomas

14 October 2016

 


I hope you've found this article useful. You can mention it to your friends by going back to the top of the page and clicking on the Facebook Recommend button. If you'd like to discuss this further, please email me 



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There, their, they're! 

  


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An excavation solution or a spade?