I’ve been thinking a lot about lockdown language since the coronavirus outbreak began to really take hold in the UK. We have heard so many new words and phrases in such a short space of time. We all use terms like ‘social distancing’, ‘the new normal’ and ‘unprecedented times’ like they are … well … the new normal. Somehow these thoughts and phrases have morphed themselves into a poem. I’ve never shared a poem before, so be gentle with me. I hope you like it.
Today, I felt compelled to write a piece about plain English. I go on about plain English quite a lot, but some of the reactions to the prime minister’s speech go to show just how important it can be in the case of public information. This isn’t a political piece or a rant to add to all the speculation going on. It’s about the importance of clarity, and the lessons we can all learn for our work and everyday communications.
Jargon (specific technical language) and acronyms (usually made up of the initial letters of something) are useful when writing for people within a particular field. However, we need to be more careful when writing for a lay audience, who might not have the specific knowledge needed to understand your terminology. How can you do this effectively? Read on for my top tips.