I worked in an agency once were we had the 'mum' test or the 'granny test'.
The idea being you ran copy or current client briefs past your granny and if she couldn't understand what was being expressed or written, then your content needed a revisit.
For me that equation doesn’t add up.
Most grannies – especially my own at 90 – are more than literate, have acquired vast amounts of knowledge and understanding of the world during their lifetime and have of course developed quite an extraordinary vocabulary being able to drop words like apostasy and encomium into sentences without pausing for breath.
I’ve confidence that every granny can hoover up the bullet points on our slide decks and correct our use of apostrophe at the same time.
We shouldn’t be arrogant to ask the rest of the world to catch up with our marketing or internal comms. It’s our duty to use our intelligence and rubric to appeal to the world. Given the average age of our supermarket reader is 11 – yes, 11 – words and terms such as leverage, going forward, ring fence, sanitise, strategic have no place in any written form between us let alone pushed into the world.
If the shift from email to tweets is true then why waste our 140 character space on those words... we should perhaps ask our grannies to write it for us.