It’s time for yet another installment in our “use simpler words” series. This week’s target: “transmit.”
Why? Because this verb sounds like it’s straight out of a sci-fi novel or a radio operator’s guide. And you usually hear “transmission,” the related noun, when someone’s talking about cars.
Consider these examples:
- The flu can be transmitted easily from one person to another.
- Mothers who take HIV medicine while they’re pregnant can lower the risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission.
Holy jargon, Batman! All this, dear readers, when we could just use a plain language word like “spread” or “pass.”
Try these instead:
- The flu can spread easily from one person to another.
- Mothers who take HIV medicine while they’re pregnant are less likely to pass HIV to their babies.
The bottom line: When writing about health, skip “transmit” and use “spread” or “pass” instead! (When writing about radios, ETs, or cars, it’s up to you.)