How many times have you had to re-read the first paragraph of an article whilst clinging onto a thesaurus as you’re trudging through jargon? I’ll put my hand up! Loads of times; almost everyday, in fact. But that’s not because I’m ill-educated, it’s because the writer is an ass.
It’s frustrating, right? Typical reading shouldn’t be made this challenging, unless, of course, you have stepped in the literature war zone with the infamous Ulysses. There’s a time and a place for technical jargon, but it’s not content marketing nor the common blog post.
What arouses one’s motives to disserary prose with supererogatory ubiquitous jargon?
So why do some writers do it, then?
Writers may have a desire to use complex words in order to create an impression of intelligence, show-off their superlative vocabulary, or to compete with fellow academics. Which is totally fine. If they’ve worked hard in educating themselves they deserve the right to show it off a little, but complicated language shouldn’t typically be used for content marketing or any kind of advertisement/promotional copy. Such complexity may even stump the sharpest of minds, leaving intellects resting their bottoms nearby the Oxford dictionary.
Don’t feel stupid
In an attempt to make you feel better about yourself, refrain from feeling a bit thick when reading words you’re not familiar with. Similarly to the typical breakup line in a RomCom film …
“ It’s not you …”
“ …It’s me (the writer)”
Good writing should be clear and written to be understood immediately. This is the gospel truth of all greatest writers in history. People have short attention spans. Using complicated words runs the risk of narrowing the already-small window to an individual’s mind, not to mention it makes them feel pretty bad about themselves!
David Ogilvy, a world-renowned advertising legend and genius copywriter, owed his success to employing a down-to-earth and colloquial style of writing. Ogilvy’s tone is friendly and approachable. His choice of language makes the information accessible to everybody, which is invaluable if you want to increase brand awareness or inform.
Emotionally connect with your readers
You’re going to get a lot more out of your audience if make them feel good. Talk to them like you’re a good friend, satisfy their needs and desires with enjoyable and digestible copy.