“Come Again?!” – Instructional and Technical Material in Plain English

True examples* of pompous bloatification (a word we made up):

Purification of unliquidated obligations is essential for the early identification and correction of invalid obligation amounts to ensure full and effective fund utilization.

~a mid level professional at a federal agency

The previous staffing requirements were adjusted to recognize that the idealized fractionalization and time phasing of communication support skilled personnel desired by proposal managers will often not be possible.

~a mid level professional at a Fortune 500 company

A proactive position vis-à-vis the escalation of the matter of ongoing sudden outage interference with the making of long-distance indials by customers has been taken.

~a customer service representative at a telecommunications company

All we can say is “HUH?!” Why can’t people write in plain English?

If you’re trying to explain something—whether simple or complex—the last thing you want to do is befuddle the reader with inflated, pretentious writing. It’s counterproductive. This applies to:

  • User manuals
  • Instructional material
  • Technical writing
  • Legal documents
  • Even letters to your grandmother

So, before you insert another “heretofore” or an “aforementioned,” STOP! Think clean, simple, plain English.

* Examples of pompous bloatification provided by Richard Lauchman in Plain Style: Techniques for Simple, Concise, Emphatic Writing. Highly recommended reading.

When you work with Double W, we can …

  • Research your subject and interview subject experts to thoroughly understand the topic.
  • Organize your content and develop a layout that provides a logical progression of ideas.
  • Craft content that is easily understood by your audience.
  • Add graphics to enhance audience understanding.
  • Wow your audience with technical info they can actually understand!

Make sure your audience understands your material.
Call Double W at 816.682.1378 or click here.

Make sure your audience understands your material.
Call Double W at 816.682.1378 or click here.

Turn your technical content into videos and be the rage of YouTube.

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