Plain English editing, writing and training service -
provided by the National Adult Literacy Agency.

Words and phrases to avoid

In the menu below, we include some common complicated words and long-winded phrases and suggested alternatives.

We also include samples of medical, legal and financial jargon and suggested alternative words or phrases that are more likely to be understood by non-specialist readers. Please note that some suggestions are intended to be broad alternatives rather than strict definitions or equivalents.

We recommend you use everyday words as much as possible, but if you must use jargon, consider using the suggested alternatives below in your definitions.