Thanks to our not-so-great British weather, this is one you often hear at train stations over the tannoy. “Due to the inclement weather, please take care whilst on the platform.” It seems odd to choose a word that so few people use, in a health and safety message.
Artisan coffee, artisan ice cream, artisanal gifts… lots of businesses use this label to signify when something is handmade. It’s a great bit of marketing- speak for delicious, handmade – and probably expensive. It’s now used on so many products that if you really want to stand out, it could be worth considering an alternative.
You see this on road signs, usually where “vehicular access” is banned. Does anyone refer to their car, bike or van as their vehicle? It’s a great catch-all term, but one that’s very formal – and makes you sound like you’ve got the hiccups when you say it out loud: ve-hic-ular!
These are just three examples. But there are so many situations where companies or organisations use one word while their customers or service users say another.
Finding the balance
It’s always difficult to find the right balance between product names, legal definitions, technical terms and using language that people are familiar with. This is particularly tricky to manage online, when users are searching for specific terms and keywords. If you don’t speak their language, they may not find you. That’s why it’s important to make your content marketing as jargon-free as possible.
We encourage our clients to use the words their audiences use or know. If that’s not possible, we help to explain any terms that might be unfamiliar.
Got a language conundrum? Our content specialists would love to help!