The word party provides a case in point. It’s a word fresh on everyone’s mind having just experienced some form of celebration with the arrival of the new year. And some confusion exists as to its proper usage.
Some writing gurus proclaim that party is a word exclusively appropriate in the legal community. Yet these same gurus will then say that party used in other contexts to mean group is appropriate. And that’s the confusion. Although it uses party to mean individual or organization, the legal community also uses party to mean group. So which is it?
Trying to make rules respecting which communities control usage of individual words is essentially arguing that those communities own language, or at least parts of language. But who can own language? That’s just ridiculous.
The ruling dictate of more effective writing is not a checklist of communities and contexts. Rather, more effective writing considers audience. Using the word party to mean group is more effective when your audience understands that party means group. It’s less effective when your audience doesn’t understand that. It’s really no more complicated than that.
More effective technical writing conveys a message clearly and concisely. That means considering your audience when you write. What may be appropriate for one audience might not be appropriate for another.
So make sure your party understands the words you use. When your writing clearly and concisely communicates your intended message, you’ll convey that message more effectively. And more effective presentations tend to represent you and your brands more positively to your audience.