Use language that suits the type of document you are writing.
- the type of document,
- who you want to read it,
- the impact the document might have.
- Use clear, plain language.
- Use short simple sentences.
- Use correct punctuation.
- Avoid using jargon. The specialised language of a professional, occupational, or other group, often meaningless to outsiders.
- Avoid using abbreviations. Abbreviation: A shortened form of a word, phrase or name and acronyms. Acronym: a pronounceable word formed by the initial letters of a name or phrase.
- Use the same terms throughout. If more than one term or phrase could be used, decide which one to use and use it throughout.
Use of jargon
If you have to use specialised terms explain what their meaning in ordinary language.
- Self-directed Support (a term that describes the ways in which individuals and families can have informed choice about the way support is provided to them.)
- Tenancy Agreement (A signed contract between a landlord and a tenant. A tenancy agreement sets out what is expected of each party, and what rights each has.)
- Colonoscopy (Medical examination of the bowel)
Use of abbreviations and acronyms
If you do use an abbreviation or an acronym, write it in full the first time to avoid confusion. You may also have to explain what it means:
- Self-directed Support (SDS)
- Black & Minority Ethnic (BME)
- National Health Service (NHS)
- Scottish Accessible Information Forum (SAIF)
- Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
If more than one term or phrase could be used, decide which one to use and use it throughout. Example “GP Surgery” or “health centre” or “local surgery
Take care not to use related terms as if they mean the same thing.
self-directed support term that describes the ways in which individuals and families can have informed choice about the way support is provided to them., direct payments. Cash payments made to people who need care (following a community care assessment) by a local authority to enable them to buy their own care or support services.