Why would you ever use jargon if you wanted to truly communicate with someone?

Just check out the definition:

“language used by a particular group of people, especially in their work, and which most other people do not understand”

— Cambridge dictionary.

When you talk to people in words they don’t understand, really, what’s the point? People get really, really annoyed when you talk to them in a manner that seems:

  • Pretentious.
  • Know-it-all.
  • Like you’re trying to prove to them they’re not as smart as you are

Claire Axelrad reviews a lot of nonprofit copy. The lion’s share of drafts she is asked to review are incomprehensible and she has to spend 5 – 10 minutes, or much more, on the nonprofit’s website to even begin to understand what they really do so she can help them communicate their message more effectively.

The culprit? Jargon. They are words you probably don’t consider jargon. Like empower, diversity, and culture of philanthropy. Like client, case management, aspirational, integrated, and cross-departmental.

In this blog, Claire explains the pitfalls of Jargon and how to avoid them in order to get your message across without alienating your readers.


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