Nine out of ten people struggle with health information when it's confusing, complex, or filled with jargon.

Help your readers understand your message by using plain language.

We add to this page often, so be sure to check in regularly for updates. Not finding what you need? Just ask us!

COVID-19 Dictionary: Use This, Not That!

Medical jargon can be confusing to readers, especially in an infodemic. Use our dictionary as a guide of how to describe COVID-19-related terms in plain language.

Download the dictionary here.

Normally, we advise against jargon and multisyllabic words (words more than three syllables). However, the following words are now part of our everyday vocabulary and okay to use:

  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus
  • Quarantine

Social Media: Before & After

Below are some examples of actual government agency social posts about COVID-19. We put them in plain language so you can see what plain language in social media looks like.

(We’ve hidden agency names; we want to show what plain language does without getting anyone in trouble!)