This tool lists frequently used terms in public health materials and their common, everyday alternatives in plain language sentences. Original sentences with jargon come from materials on CDC.gov. Some words and phrases may have multiple meanings, so check the context of use before you substitute. Remember, it might not be enough to delete jargon and substitute an everyday word in materials for the nonexpert public. You may have to rewrite the entire sentence or sentences and use multiple techniques. As a rule, you help readers when you:
No, this tool includes many but not all common public health terms used in materials on CDC.gov. For example, the tool doesn’t include specialized disease, health condition, anatomy, or physiology terms. We will periodically add relevant, widely-used terms and examples.
If you do audience testing of these terms or other public health or medical words, please send your results to the CDC Office of the Associate Director for Communication Science health literacy team at email@example.com. We want to use the results to update and share the list with others so they can learn which terms work better for different audiences.