Be kind and translate your 'Terms of Use'This may be a new year, but it’s the same old, same old when it comes to wordy, baffling language. And you’ll find lots of that in any company’s Terms of Use.

Terms of Use should be easy to read, don’t you think? And making them easy is just being kind. Some companies do appear kind, sending updates they suggest are making the terms easier to read. But are they?

The January issue of my newsletter, Wordnerdery, looks at the terms governing my relationship with Mailchimp, which sends the newsletter. More specifically, it looks at the definitions, presented in typical legal style: Full Term, duly capitalized (“Short Term,” in quotes and capitalized).

Running the section through the Hemingway app showed Mailchimp wrote it at a “post graduate” level, typical of dense academic papers. I rewrote it, starting with breaking up eight looooong sentences and turning them into 18 shorter, livelier, easier-to-understand explanations. The rewrite came in at Grade 9, considered “Good.”

See the before and after in January Wordnerdery. And do share *your* Befores that need an After. I’m always looking for good (bad) examples!

Wordnerdery is a quick read about words, effective/expressive writing, newsletters and more. Are you a subscriber yet? If yes, thanks for reading! If not, you can sign up right now. In keeping with Canadian and American anti-spam laws – and just plain good manners – you can easily unsubscribe any time.