Win hearts and minds with plain English copywriting

| 9th January 2013

Language has two functions. One, to communicate ideas and information and two, to define groups of people.

It happens in business, too. Tribes of people who work in the same sector tend to use language to define the group they belong to.

Plain English copywriting wins every time

Some tribes invent special words and phraseology that’s only understood by people in the in-crowd, something teenagers do a lot. Some create complex code-like systems, for example cockney rhyming slang, which outsiders can’t understand. And others make up jargon, which only makes sense within the narrow confines of their area of expertise.

It’s all about exclusion, about as far from inclusive as it gets. Communicating successfully with a wider audience means speaking their language, not yours.

Say no to jargon in your marketing communications. Stick to clean, clear, simple, creatively-expressed plain English copywriting and you’ll stand a much better chance of winning hearts and minds with your copywriting instead of losing friends and alienating people.

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Category: copywriting and marketing 2006-17

By Kate Goldstone - ()

Originally from Middlesbrough, I lived in Brighton for many years before moving to North Devon. I've had a passion for words all my life and this is my fourteenth year as a freelance writer. In my spare time I draw, paint, sculpt, carve, garden, read, decorate, write poetry and enjoy long distance hiking. I sing and play the recorder. I'm a member of The Poetry Society and the Labour Party. And I am an experienced volunteer shepherd, a 'Lookerer'.

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