Today I challenged my team to describe their job in 150 words or fewer, using only the one thousand most common words in English. The idea comes from an xkcd cartoon, and some clever person who made an online text-editor that tells you whether you’re using the right words or not.
It’s quite a challenge to explain what the communications manager at the Royal Society of Chemistry does when you can’t use the words communications, manager, royal, society or chemistry. But I had fun doing it, and it makes you think about the words you take for granted when you’re describing things.
My job in (exactly) 150 very common words
“I lead a team of people who help their work friends to talk in a more clear way. We work for a business interested in how very small things work. These things are so small you can’t see them, but everything is made of them.
"To help more people know about how small things work, and why that’s important for everyone, our business does many things: we share what people have learned by studying small things; we share stories about those studies; we help teachers and students; and we help them meet other people who like the same things.
"Sometimes people who know lots about small things use long words or ideas, so we help to make the words and ideas clear and easy for everyone to understand. We help them talk to people who run cities or the world, business-people, teachers, students, or all people who like knowing things.”
(P.S. one guy on the team had already really nicely described his PhD in much the same way.)