Layman’s Terms. Writing (or speaking) that is “phrased simply, without jargon.”
We already know that getting to the point is important. But getting to the point in a way that your readers understand is even more important.
In the words of George Orwell:
“Never use a long word where a short word will do”
“Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.”
Don’t break out every $10 word you know to impress your readers. You aren’t impressing anyone. At best, you’ll come off as a snob and, at worst, your readers will resent you for making them feel stupid.
As a child, when you came across a word that you didn’t understand, what did you do? You skipped over it, right?
We’re all children at heart.
Adult readers skip over large words too.
Being authentic is much more important than being impressive.
Just because you understand something doesn’t mean everyone does. As Orwell stated, if there’s a more well-known way to say something–write it that way.
Write the way you speak.
Write the way your readers speak.
Lauren Spear (née Tharp) is the owner and creator of the multiple award-winning LittleZotz Writing. She’s written hundreds of bylined posts helping freelance writers to become BETTER freelance writers. Thousands if you count all the articles she’s ghostwritten (but she’s not allowed to talk about most of those).