Glorious Gobbledegook

Writers pour their hearts and  souls into the words that spring forth from hidden depths to caress the pages and tease your minds. Writing from the heart is a truly wonderful way to share what you have to say. The reality is that we all have little sayings, acronyms, ways of expressing ourselves and jargon that leave others utterly bewildered.

To enchant we have to decant with words that ought to remain handcuffed to a radiator in hell. Gobbledegook makes no sense and is indeed utter nonsense. In a world that is full of words that can be used to describe something with simplicity, why must we complicate matters by using words that no-one has heard of. Or if they have heard of them, certainly not in that order.

We believe in regenerated reciprocal concepts.  Do you mean shared repurposed ideas?

The fact is that when any of us writes, our minds slip over overused words and jargon that someone from outside our industry or niche may not be able to make sense of.

Steps to degobbldegook your writing

  1. Be brutal and look for jargon, either explain what it is if you have no other choice or find another word or words.
  2. I recently discovered that one of my overused words was simply. I was horrified how many times I used the word simply. It seems that my thoughts are simply simple. Use something like Grammarly (http://tr.grammarly.com/SHIH) (Aff link), which has a WORD plugin to help your to scrutinise your copy.
  3. Ask other people to read your copy, as they will see it with fresh eyes.
  4. Use built in WORD spell and grammar check as this will highlight odd words.
  5. Make a list of your jargon and over used words and add them to your standard editing plan. Then use the search tool to find them and use your thesaurus or your imagination to find a replacement.
  6. Why use a big word when a little one will do?
  7. Next look at your copy in the context of what you are trying to achieve. Is there a better way to say ‘in today’s competitive marketplace’ or ‘Maximise and optimise shareholder value’?
  8. Consider your reader, do they like flowerly prose or hard facts?
  9. Turn your we’s around. All too often we say that we can do something, when we should be considering what the benefits are to the reader. In the context of your writing, you may be using we, as in we collectively do Xyz or you may be saying we can sort out your terrible problems – who cares and who says I have a problem?

Whilst it may seem a pain in the proverbial, and you may not get all your funnies, using tools and other humans will help to smarten up your copy.

Be kind to yourself, in my humble opinion, one can go over the top and lose one’s voice. Think about your reader, flow and how you can maintain your voice within the context of toning down your gobbledegook.

 

8 Replies to “Glorious Gobbledegook”

  1. ever since I was a child I used writing as a tool to work things out – to heal myself , now I write to change the world big ideas I know but one needs a dream and a purpose and this is mine. I also aim to publish along the way. thank you for your tips
    Sandra (aust) a to z er ‘ life without television ‘

  2. Interesting points Jacqui.. I interviewed an expert recently and one of the listeners commented that I need more adjectives. I’d used amazing far too often! Reassuring to hear we all have the same weaknesses!

  3. Where do I begin? Wow (with a bow) Gobbledygook… I love to randomly choose numbers in the a2zlinky and I am sure that is against the rules, but after finding this treasure ! I have no regrets ! I do look for my commonly use words…but I do love those big ones when a small one will do! Not for #A2zchallenge 2014 I kept in simple (no pun intended) Simply (again no pun), a fun easy way to visit more than attract! Brilliant LOVED IT! I will keep your advice in mind. My G is for Gourds at http://4covert2overt.blogspot.com/

  4. Hmm, food for thought. I think I use a lot of gobbledygook (wow that passed the spell check) and not sure what I want to do about that right now. When I write it feels right. Yep I think a peer review is a great idea. X

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