Keeping it real. We humans are a funny bunch. We like to ‘belong’. We like to belong to a club, a group, a fashion tribe. We like to be in the know. We want the low down; the skinny. We use language to make ourselves comfortable and to belong. I have teenagers. They use words I need to ask the meaning of. It’s ‘bare peak’. Music uses words to give us a sense of belonging. Who over age 40 knew what Skepta was singing about when he sang that at fashion week, it was ‘shut down’ when he arrived…. I had to ask the Teenage Units what that one meant.
We do it in the areas we work. I became a school governor in January this year. Boy, how many acronyms do they have. PAN, SIP, SEF, LAC…… It’s the same, I am sure, in your area of work. Think about it.
Law is no different but I think we are making real efforts not to use jargon. When I first became a solicitor, Latin was used for many legal expressions. Then, we had a sea change and Latin was no longer to be used. When I write to my clients, I really do think carefully about how to explain what I need to. I try to write as I would speak. It’s not easy, that’s for sure. The thing with the written medium, whether it is email, text, WhatsApp, the person receiving it does not hear the tone of voice that you wrote it in nor do they see your facial expressions. It also means that if you’re not sure of what has been said or written, I really do want you to ask. Some of the jargon is unavoidable but it can be explained in different ways. I swear down, it’s bare needed that ya get me; ya get me?