A Speech on “Plain English Is Preferable to Jargon.”

Jargon basically means the specialized language used by people in the same work or profession. If you think that someone’s writing is full of jargon, then that means you don’t like it and think it must be simplified. The specified terms or jargons are used to convey hidden meanings that are understood in that field. So, if we overuse jargon, people mistrust us and tend to doubt our intentions. But if everyone can understand the jargon then it can be a very efficient way of communicating.

We can use jargon in a wide variety of situations which can vary from profession to profession. Jargon for a doctor would be completely different than jargon for a mechanic, hairstylist, lawyer, or teacher. Jargon should not be used when we are speaking to someone outside of our profession as this can be considered to be unnecessarily complicating. For instance, a cosmologist will not speak to you of the GUT but rather the Grand Unifying Theory, a theory which unifies all theories of the universe. Professionals those are kind and understanding are willing to translate jargon into plain English for those common people who are not aware of their specialized way of speaking.

When we communicate in plain English language, misunderstandings disappear and the reader can actually get the information that you want them to get. The staff and management don’t have to spend precious time explaining what they meant.

Some reasons why we should use plain English language are:

  • Increases understanding and satisfies the customers and staff.
  • Reduces confusion, complaints and inquiries that require clarification.
  • Creates a positive image among the readers.
  • Saves time as well as money.

Plain English improves the effectiveness of your organization’s communications, and delivers savings in production costs.

Plain English writing is text written so that it conveys the meaning in language that is easy to understand. It focuses on clear communication, and thus results in crisp, clear, concise sentences with no ambiguity.

The style of plain English writing is beneficial for any document produced by a government or business, for any purpose, whether the audience is the general public, stakeholders, academics, government officials or ministers. 

In 2010, the U.S. Government passed a law, the Plain Writing Act, which directs U.S. federal agencies to use plain language in their communications with the public. The guidelines for this newly enacted law explain that clear writing and getting straight to the point, without unnecessary words or jargon, will spread the message quickly and would be easier to understand.

Various lawyers, solicitors, barristers and attorneys around the world have acknowledged the idea of plain English. “Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people” – William Butler Yeats.

We must focus on what needs to be said and say it clearly and logically in short sentences and leave out non-essential information. 

We must use language that is conversational and friendly rather than difficult, legalistic, academic or full of jargon. For instance – Instead of writing “Your communication has been received by the department.” We can write “we have received your email.”

Benefits of using plain English are that-

  • It eliminates and reduces confusion and misunderstandings
  • speed in getting the message

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