Hah! I’ve finally managed to dumb down my language to suit undergrads!! Yay!!
I’ve tried to keep my writing relatively simple and understandable – jargon drives me nuts but I know I can be verbose. Thanks to Dr Deb for her pointer to this wee tool – try it out on a website near you!
On a more serious note, it’s amazing how often we use jargon amongst ourselves and even with the people we work with. What exactly are ‘valued activities’, what is a ‘lived experienced’, why do we say ‘cognitions’, and what does a change of two points on an outcome measure actually mean?
I’ve just been writing an application for Ethics Approval, and trying to write out the information sheet and consent form using the wording that has been provided by the Ethics Committee…talk about jargon! I’ve been a fan of ‘plain english’ instead of gobbledygook for years and years – and still I see forms and patient information sheets that reek of long-winded doublespeak.
A plea from the heart – if you want to give information out to ‘the general public’, remember that brevity, being concise, and short, active, snappy sentences are much more likely to be read than pedantic, lengthy and passive tomes. Lots of white space, illustrations to make a point, and good use of bullet points make me want to read on.
And if you want a really great cartoon to make a point – take a look at Randy Glasbergen’s lot – they’re brilliant!