Hi, I’m Tom. I firmly believe that education teaches how to write incorrectly. I am by no means an expert… but I’ve been in education all my life so I do have an opinion.
Writing for education
At a young age we are taught that using ‘big’ words directly relates to your level of intellect. The bigger words you use and can spell, the better your English. While I agree that spelling is a necessity, constantly using large words isn’t a good habit for writing outside of the classroom.
Then there are GCSEs. What a painful experience. I remember the three rules we were taught to get the highest grade we could:
- revise (duh)
- six lines = six marks, two lines = two marks
- use technical terminology anywhere and everywhere you can
The last one pains me. Instead of conveying what you want to say with words you use in everyday conversation, you’re forced to use technical language wherever you can to attain a better grade. I’ve always thought that if you know something well enough, you should be able to explain it in a way that everyone can understand – for example, a rocket. Obviously if you’re talking about atoms you’re going to have to talk about a proton or two as it’s appropriate for the context.
If you choose the university route, there are word counts to hit. You can be certain that you’ll end up waffling on and adding in far too many words. In most cases, a 2,000 word essay could easily be condensed down into 750 words of concise points – easier for each party involved.
Writing for everyone
Plain English, oh how I love you. If you write in a way that everyone can understand then it’s better for everyone. Just like my favourite rapper JayZ said: “More jargon, more problems”… Don’t quote me on that, but it’s very true.
The main difference is writing the way that the majority of people prefer to read which is what we strive to do at Crocstar.
Want to know more about plain English and why we prefer it? Here’s a handy post on the psychology of reading online.