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 ham radio how-to. And the related noun, “transmission,” is more hot rod than Hot Zone.
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 fancy fuss, dear readers, when we could 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 infectious diseases, skip “transmit” and use “spread” or “pass” instead! (When writing about radios, aliens, or cars, it’s up to you.)