Common Copywriting Mistake: Using Complicated Jargon that Nobody Understands

November 29, 2010

Have you ever got confused by complicated, jargon-filled writing?

I’m not sure about you, but as someone who proofreads hundreds of thousands of lines of text everyday, I certainly have – more so than you can ever imagine!

Here’s an example of a horribly confusing email I received this morning. (Note the spelling, punctuation and grammatical mistakes peppered all over the copy)

Dear Sir,

I would like to take this opportunity to Introfuce ABC Engineering, a subsidiary company of EFG Pte Ltd. Please find the brief of our Learning and Training services we provide through our division.

We offer our services in developing customized Creative Learning and Training solutions & well known for the game-based e-learning modules while also offering a complete range of learning solutions for all kinds of corporate training requirements. We are a one stop shop for end to end eLearning solutions.

We have worked in varied domains in developing different type of training and learning programmes for various verticals across the globe. Just to list a few domains, we have worked big time with Educational, Telecomm, Media, Universities, Engineering, Government, Publishing and many more.

We have got a huge appaluse for developing 30Hours of Banking and Accounting courseware in just 60 calender days for IGNOU, thus breaking all the records so far done by any other company and Brandon Hall is evaluating on the same. We are also working with couple of esteemed universities in USA and Singapore. And, couple of Ministries and government bodies in Singapore and Malaysia.

It would be a pleasure, if we could get a chance to get to talk to you over a meeting at a time convenient to you to discuss if there is a match and a synergy for us to work together and explore the possibilty for a mutually beneficial and long term relationship.

please advise a suitable time for a meeting for 30 minutes to brief more on services.

We appreciate your consideration on this request and look forward to a rewarding and productive meeting with your esteemed organization.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at below mentioned address. I will be pleased to provide any additional information you require.

P.S : Please find the corporate profile and the corporate presentation attached.

[Name omitted]

Overlooking the stuffy, centuries-old style of writing, do you understand what the email is trying to convey?

It may sound as if the writer has been working in the education industry for a while but technical jargon such as “game-based e-learning modules”, “various verticals” and “domains” mean nothing to the average reader. It is confusing and painful to read wouldn’t you agree?

And do normal people really speak like this? Probably not – but many certainly write like it!

You’ll not only see such writing in business email correspondences, but complicated, jargon-filled writing have had a long tradition in the workplace where some of the worst culprits are members from the technical and accounts department or even senior management.

It makes me wonder if the writer is trying to communicate in a clear, simple way. Or are they more concerned about communicating status?

Having to read something that you don’t understand wastes precious time and causes frustration. It also causes errors if you need to send an urgent reply to a message you can’t even understand. That’s why you should always write in a simple, clear language that ordinary readers would understand.

Learn even more techniques you can apply today to avoid the most common copywriting mistakes. Download your copy of the QuickStart Copywriter ebook here.

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