August 03, 2013

“The Power Of Plain Language”

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I already know this ‘writing every day’ thing is going to be tricky – it’s 10.45pm and my eyes are beginning to droop. I have 1 hour 15 minutes and 1 second left before I have failed my task on day 2. That would be lame.

So, there was something I read today that struck me in particular (and no, it’s not the story about the man who tried to disguise his turtle as a hamburger in a rather creative attempt to smuggle the pet through customs, although it did make me chuckle), the article I am talking about is a piece from TrinityP3 called The Power of Plain Language When Communicating Strategy. The whole article focuses on the benefits of speaking plainly when communicating as to not over-complicate things. From personal experience, I think people do this a lot in the workplace without meaning to. People (and it tends to be more senior colleagues) tend to use really buzzword-y, gimmicky words that can confuse an entire meeting room, when actually it would be much clearer if that person just said it normally, like they were down t’pub or something.

Here’s the snippet from the article, written by Shawn Callahan, on September 1st 2012:

“I was reading an article about Irish author Maeve Binchy who passed away yesterday. She was a hugely successful author who has sold over 40 million books, been translated into 37 different languages and, in 2000, was ranked third in the World Book Day poll of favourite authors.

Part of her success has been put down to her informal, almost ‘chatty style’.

“I don’t say I was ‘proceeding down a thoroughfare’, I say I ‘walked down the road’. I don’t say I ‘passed a hallowed institute of learning’, I say I ‘passed a school’.

When she was asked how she did it she said she simply wrote the way she spoke.”

I think this makes sense. Plus I am also secretly happy because I don’t really know that many long words.

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