Caroline’s recent trip to China highlighted the importance of choosing the right word when communicating. Many of you have probably experienced messages that have been lost in translation, like this rather funny photo.
In business, using jargon like gobbledygook, clichés, colloquialisms, euphemisms, confusable words or verbosity can make sure your message is ‘lost in translation’, just like this sign. We see it often in corporate writing – regularly in reports and internal documents, but often in brochures, websites, and articles. The writer is very knowledgeable about their particular subject and may even be trying to impress their reader.
However, using words that your reader cannot understand will alienate your reader and prevent your message from being understood. And that’s no good! After all, getting your message across is the purpose of most communication.
Many companies have recognised this problem and use plain language consultants or professional writers to either write for them or review their writing to ensure their writing is reader-friendly. In the next series of posts, we will explain each of the following and provide some typical business examples:
- Wordiness – verbosity, redundancy, and superfluity
Stay tune to next post.