Jargon-Filled Writing Be Gone With You!

Todd Defren’s blog is used on a regular basis in this blog. If this bugs you please let me know, otherwise read on because he has done it again with another great post.

In Defren’s, head honcho of SHIFT Communication, last post to his blog PR Squared he writes about how public relations writing is filled with jargon terms that we should avoid. He said, “So many of the words we use to make plain English sound more exciting wind up sucking the life out of written expression.”

Now that I am in an internship at The Scene Marketing Group where I am doing real life writing work, I realized I write in a more confusing way when I use jargon terms just to look like I know what I’m talking about. Readers are happy when their literature is easy to read without a lot of jargon fluff.

This can contribute to reporters reading your press release because it’s quick, email blasts actually being opened because the subject line doesn’t confuse them even more, and social media followers won’t hit the “unlike” button because they are tired of seeing words that don’t need to be in a sentence like show-stopper, face time or learnings.

So how do we combat the jargon-filled writing debacle?

Defren provides the answer with a website called Unsuck-It. The website takes the words like the ones above and transforms them into plain, easy-to-read language. Check it out:

Jargon Word                               Unsucked Word

Show Stopper                             Serious problem or cause for delay.

Face Time                                    Conversation or meeting.

Learnings                                    A lesson or new information.

Computer Jargon Bingo

Unsuck-It is helpful, hilarious and somewhat risque, so viewers be warned.

In conclusion,  Defren brings up the point that jargon-filled writing is difficult to read and can make your audience less likely to continue reading. Whether it is readers for your personal blog, social media or content from your business, lets help each other out and use some plain language.

Do you have any other ideas or examples of how to avoid jargon? Please feel free to comment!

Thanks for reading.

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About jedavis13

Student at the University of Oregon majoring in journalism and concentrating in public relations.
This entry was posted in Client Relations, communication, Companies, Public Relations, Strategy, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Jargon-Filled Writing Be Gone With You!

  1. jessimckain says:

    Clear, concise writing can be among the most effective. I learned how to have clear and concise writing from having a boss in a remote location when our primary form of communication was written (either via email or AIM). I was amazed by how jargon can bog down a meaning and sometimes lose it for the reader. I also learned during this time to RARELY use non-descriptive pronouns. Thanks for sharing this fun post!

  2. Sierra Baldwin says:

    Thanks for the tips, Jesse. Just today I read an article about SEO that underlined the importance of using words that have very literal meanings. I think that whether you’re trying to improve your SEO or just get a message across, it’s important to be clear and concise by using recognizable words rather than jargon.

  3. pdxsx says:

    Nice work, Jesse. Very well written and a super topic for those who thing everyone is keen on business jargon.

    ~J

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