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Why You Should Wage War On Jargon

Written by Shukuru Amos

Tanzania's most followed marketer on LinkedIn. Content Alchemist; building and executing content strategies for B2B brands, Founders and Solopreneurs.

Fitness expert Doug Brignole wrote in his book, The Physics of Resistance Exercise;

“Complete forward flexion of the spine and deliberate contraction of the rectus abdominis, is much more likely to produce muscular development of the abs.”

While he could have said.

Bending forward to make full contraction of abdominal muscles will give you six packs.

Then mention the two exercises for that;

  • Seated cable ab crunches
  • Incline bench ab crunches.

But no. The expert fancied the idea of making exercise sound like classical mechanics and complex biology. Yes, exercise is biomechanics. But no one in my year of gym going has uttered things like “rectus abdominis” or “forward flexion”. Me and my gym bros we say abs, packs, or six packs.

His book is the best fitness book I ever read. You should read it. Only that his delivery limited it to a few learned, pro bodybuilders. Maybe that was his target. A book for trainers, not for the DIY rest of us.

But the point stands. There are more lies in the fitness industry than in romantic relationships. This book could have saved many. If you have something to say, and you have expertise in it, it would be irresponsible to make the message difficult to read.

Difficult, specialized words disengage people.

Unless you want to prove that you also went to school, jargon doesn’t help you much. You will look smart but also make people feel like they don’t belong.

We are wired to respond to content and stories written in clear, simple language. If you want to engage people, plain language is your friend.

With plain language, more people will read and understand your message. And act on it. And if you said something valuable to people, what impact would that be? Plain language is inclusive.

And please do not confuse your message not being for everyone with your message not being effective.

If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself

Albert Einstein

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