One morning inside the Mayor’s office in one of the towns I was assigned to work, I was comfortably seated in one corner. The municipal councilor was busy discussing about something with the employees when a group of students went inside bringing a white envelope. It was a solicitation letter.
The councilor opened the letter and read it loudly. Everybody in the room including me listened intently to him. Suddenly, he mumbled when he stumbled upon the word “philanthropic”. He asked the students what it meant. The students just look at each other. They weren’t able to give the councilor an answer. The councilor threw the question to the employees, but it landed on deaf ears. The employees pretended to be busy with their work. Those who weren’t able get something to get busy with just smiled.
Sometimes we are fond of using difficult-good-sounding words without making an effort to know its meaning. We may be able to use them correctly but doesn’t know what they really meant.
The basic rule in technical writing especially in correspondence is to use simple words because its purpose is to communicate. We will defeat its purpose if the receiver does not understand its message.