Join Judy Steiner-Williams for an in-depth discussion in this video Use multisyllabic words sparingly, part of Writing in Plain English.
- [Voiceover] Listen to these statements.…The chief virtue that language can have…is clearness, and nothing detracts from it as much…as the use of unfamiliar words, Hippocrates.…The finest language is mostly made up…of simple unimposing words, George Eliot.…Use familiar words, words that your reader will understand,…and not words they will have to look up.…No advice is more elementary and no advice…is more difficult to accept.…When we feel an impulse to use…a marvelously exotic word, let us lie down…until the impulse goes away, James Kilpatrick.…
What do Hippocrates, Eliot, and Kilpatrick have in common?…All three are writers, of medical information,…English literature, and newspaper articles,…ranging from the time period of 460 B.C.…to 2010 A.D., that's over 2,500 years giving…the same advice, use the simple word.…That advice of course, supports how the plain English…readability indices determine readability levels.…Part of the formula is how many…multi-syllable words are used,…and emphasizes the earlier caution that…
If you can write in plain English, you can save time, save money, and save face in communications. Start watching to learn how to make your writing more "plain": stronger, clearer, and more concise.
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- Understanding plain English
- Catching mistakes by reading aloud
- Simplifying sentences
- Using strong verbs and meaningful words
- Avoiding corporate jargon
- Finding the right voice and tone
- Editing flow and content
- Writing in a conversational style