For Healthier Plain Language, Skip “Healthful”

2 doodles yell "The power of healthy compels you!" to a ghost with "healthful" written on it, while another opens a "Health Comm KIt".

As much as we ❤︎ the English language, dear readers, we also feel haunted by the vague, archaic, jargon-y, and generally unhelpful words that often sneak into health communication. (You may recall our rants about exceeding preventable substances. Well, not quite — but you get us.) The ghost we want to exorcise today? “Healthful.” Shudder. Some […]

Writing About Race and Ethnicity

Race and ethnicity introduce themselves to each other, find they are both social constructs, and high-five.

As health communicators, we know it’s our responsibility to choose our words carefully — especially when we’re tackling topics like gender or disability. This goes for race and ethnicity, too. But not to fear, dear readers — we’re here to clear things up! First things first: although they can overlap, race and ethnicity aren’t the same […]

(Online) Video Killed the Radio Star

An online video titled "How to Make Health Videos for Internet" starring Doug Doodleman.

If you’re anything like us, dear readers, you still shudder thinking about the awkward videos from 7th grade health class. You remember them: cheesy tales of peer pressure on prom night that left everyone sweaty palmed and wondering how to apply these lessons in real life. Thankfully, videos about health have come a long way […]

Plain Language for Health: A Writing and Design Workshop

Logo for Plain Language for Health: A Writing and Design Workshop

Have you ever wished you could spend 2 whole days learning about plain language, health literacy, and design principles? (It’s been our dream since childhood, obviously.) If that sounds like you, please join us for Plain Language for Health: A Writing and Design Workshop on March 16–17, 2017 in Boston, MA. The workshop is co-sponsored by […]

Battle of the Acronyms: STD vs. STI

A Doodle competes in "Wheel of Fortune", considering their next move. The board reads "ST_"

Today we’re tackling a common question: when writing about sexual health, is it best to use “STD” (sexually transmitted disease) or “STI” (sexually transmitted infection)? Sexual health is one of those sensitive topics that health communicators often encounter, so it’s especially important for us to choose our words carefully when discussing it. “STI” has gained […]