I am setting forth ten commandments for writers in the public sector, based on my dissertation and on standards for clear writing. The commandments will each appear as a Word of the Week.
Favor short words.
The most common Finnish words contain two to five letters and have one or two syllables. Therefore, when we use short words, we are likely also using familiar, everyday expressions.
By adopting the perspective of a typical resident, those who write for municipal bodies are likelier to choose more suitable and more easily understood words. My research subjects did this, especially in social media updates. Their updates contained substantially fewer long words compared to other genres of text.
This shorter-word standard has received criticism, but combined with other evaluation techniques, it’s a handy and useful method.