The advice to avoid jargon in writing is age-old and common. It’s also smart.
We send press releases, blog posts, and other content aimed at particular audiences, because we want people to read and grasp the information and act on it in some way. That can’t happen if they have to struggle, even a little bit, to understand the message.
Knowing we’re supposed to banish jargon is the easy part. Doing it, though, can be excruciatingly hard—especially when a deadline looms.
So, here are 11 of the worst culprits from corporate communication. In my view, these words and phrases should never appear in a press release, email, or other tool used to convey information.
Here, too, are suggestions for replacements for each one. The substitutes are not exact synonyms in many cases, but they are simple and clear words that could work in place of the jargon, depending on the context. Next time you get stuck and can’t find a way around “mission-critical,” just take out this list and try to swap that phrase with something clearer.
1. utilize ➙ use, show, fill, take, apply, push, work
2. end-user ➙ client, customer, audience, shopper, buyer
3. synergy ➙ team, powerful, effective, stronger, more, together