Everyone can read and understand more easily when you use everyday words. If you’re writing for a wide audience, it’s particularly important to use words that your intended audience is familiar with.
And research shows that highly educated readers prefer plain English too – possibly because it’s quicker to scan and read.
One problem with using unfamiliar words is that people might have different definitions, so they could misunderstand your message. For example, some people think that ‘optimum’ means ‘first’ instead of ‘best’ or ‘most favourable’. Here are some suggestions for words to avoid:
|Instead of . . .||Try using . . .|
|Ascertain||learn / check / find out / make certain|
|Additional||more / extra|
|Implement||carry out / do|
|In the event that||if|
|In lieu of||instead of|
|Require||must / need|
|Without further delay||immediately|
|Notify||tell / inform|