Oftentimes when I read articles on the internet or the fine print of mail that my parents received, I wonder if I should be understanding every word that it is saying. Unlike regular literature, some of these texts are loaded with synonyms, jargon, and technical terms that my mind, locked in the world of school, cannot understand.
I can imagine this is the same predicament for many people out there.
The reason why many writers cannot convey their ideas more simplistically to others is because they assume others have the same knowledge as them, or they simply do not think about their audience. For those in business, a whole set of terms comes with the field, terms that people not in business do not understand. For those who major in math, their ideas become expressed through mathematical terms that, again, those who do not major in math do not understand.
This knowledge that they have been exposed to seems so normal for them because they communicate with people in the same field as they work in every day. To not write using their field’s jargon seems strange since they are surrounded by the usage of these words every day.
You are welcome to write using your field’s jargon. But if you see a word that you think your readers will not understand, define it. You’re both exposing the reader to your knowledge and allowing the reader to better understand your writing.
This is part of the reason why some people can not write so that we can understand them.
The other reason is that they are not thinking about their audience, or that they have too complicated of any idea to express in simplistic terms. If, say, you were writing an article to be posted on NYT, you would not want to use mathematical jargon because people from all across the globe, all ages, and all education levels will be reading that article. Furthermore, as you write something, think about if you personally understand what it says. If you don’t understand what it says, then you must change the diction or the syntax of the sentence because more often than not, the reader will feel the same way.
If you find everything you write to be easily understandable, give it to your friend – not in the same field as you – or a family member to read. They will be able to weed out the bad apples.
Nevertheless, that is one of the biggest reasons why some people cannot write coherently, at least, not coherently to the outside world.
If you allow yourself to think of your audience more than you just write, you will find yourself striving to use terminology that the reader will be able to understand.
Lots of love and keep writing,