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Clive Andrews

Up-goer five and thinking about the words we use

Here is a good idea. A friend I work with showed me this thing. Can you explain something important using only ten hundred words? It’s not easy. Give it a try. (I am doing it while I write this.)

It made me think about the words we use.

We have many big ideas. And we use long words to explain them to people. Maybe that’s not good, because if it makes an idea hard for some people to understand, not everyone can enjoy it or use it.

If we want people to understand us and our thoughts, maybe we need to pick words everyone can read. If more people can understand us, we can share our ideas with more people, so we can help them more.

You don’t always have to write like this. It really isn’t easy. But try it. Next time you have a big idea you want to share, try writing it down like this. And if it is too hard, try again. It might make your idea clearer in your head, and clearer for people you talk to.

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2 Comments

  1. Ross Breadmore

    Interesting challenge Clivo. Makes me think of a post I wrote a while back on overly wanky business language. http://www.nixonmcinnes.co.uk/2012/01/26/guidelines-for-a-spin-free-world/

    Posted 29th January 2013 at 10:07 am | Permalink
  2. caz

    Great blog post Clive. It seems to be a hot topic at the moment – I’ve just spotted this, a new tool which highlights jargon on web pages:
    http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-02/05/jargone

    Posted 11th February 2013 at 4:36 pm | Permalink