Posted by: episystechpubs | July 7, 2015

Editor’s Corner: Tip #5 – Replace Jargon with Clarity

I’m not going to rant about jargon today, but I am going to publish the fifth tip from “10 Top Writing Tips and the Psychology Behind Them,” by Josh Bernoff.

Tip #5: Replace jargon with clarity.

Why it matters. Jargon makes your reader feel stupid. Unless they’re an insider, they can’t figure out your meaning.

Why you use jargon. You think jargon makes you sound sophisticated. Or you’re hiding the fact that you don’t actually understand what you’re saying.

How to fix it. Imagine you’re talking to your mom (unless your mom is an expert in your subject; if so, imagine you’re talking to your high school history teacher). Explain what you mean in plain English. If using a technical term would actually make things clearer or shorter, define it first. [KC – Emphasis mine.] For example, this SAP press release includes the sentence “As the digital transformation revolution reaches maturity, companies have the opportunity to shift business models within their industry disruptively to create new sources of defensible competitive advantage.” Rewrite as “New technology creates new ways to do business.”

Previous articles on jargon:



Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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