This document lists frequently used terms in public health materials and their common, everyday alternatives in plain language sentences. Original sentence examples come from materials on CDC.gov. Some words and phrases may have multiple meanings, so check the context of use before you substitute.
Remember, it might not be enough to delete jargon and substitute an everyday word in materials for the nonexpert public. You may have to rewrite the entire sentence or sentences and use multiple techniques. As a rule, you help readers when you:
• Write short sentences.
•Use active voice.
•Use everyday words and pronouns (when appropriate).
Who should use this document?
Anyone writing for an audience that will benefit from jargon-free language: Consider the intended audience, and use the language that will make the most sense to them. When you do need to reach a broad, public audience without specialized knowledge about a topic, everyday words are the most appropriate language to help the most people understand the information.