‘Drop the Jargon’ day urges local government and health services to use plain language

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Health professionals, community services workers and local government employees in Australia were among those urged to use plain language for today’s ‘Drop the Jargon Day’.

The campaign, organised by the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health, is an annual event that encourages organisations to pledge not to use jargon, technical terms or acronyms that can be hard for people to understand.

Organisations taking part were invited to make a pledge to ‘drop the jargon’ and put up posters in their workplaces to encourage colleagues to communicate more clearly.

The Centre is urging organisations to make their language more accessible and help the 60% of people in Australia who have trouble understanding information from healthcare organisations.

In particular, the campaign calls on participants to improve communication by:

  • Swapping jargon for plain language
  • Using the active voice
  • Keeping sentences short
  • Avoiding clichés
  • Explaining any jargon that has to be used where there is no plain language alternative.

The event first took place in 2014, after a number of organisations joined together to promote better communication and reach more people in the community.

As well as committing to using plain language in place of jargon, event participants were invited to contribute to a ‘jargon blacklist’, sharing the jargon terms that annoy them the most.