I admit it. I was late to the Line of Duty party – but better late than never! We devoured 6 series in 6 weeks and now we’re having to adjust to life without Steve, Kate and Ted.
It was an intelligent and engaging programme, but there were times when I felt a little lost. In the desire for the series to be as authentic as possible, Jed Mercurio (the writer) used a lot of technical jargon that (I assume) is common place in the police force. I lost count of the number of TLAs (Three-letter acronyms) that were used – sometimes many in one sentence – and it was a little distracting at times.
I’m NOT a police officer.
I was only interested in the STORY.
And I think that they story could have been delivered just as well, and just as authentically with slightly less use of this jargon.
Of course, the police officers watching the series probably appreciated this attention to detail – but it was a layer of complexity that could have been scaled back WITHOUT having any detrimental effect on our enjoyment of the series.
It’s something I see a lot in training design too. In our desire to be correct, we are sometimes too technical. Our delegates don’t need to know the correct psychological terms for things for example – they just need to understand the concepts and do something with it. Introducing too much terminology can actually confuse things, having the opposite effect of our desire to clarify.
Obviously, the level of jargon you can use depends on your audience. If your audience ARE police officers (in this case) then using jargon is good – it actually makes things better. BUT if they aren’t, you need to use the simplest language you can.
Remember, the training you design is for THEM not for you. It’s not about you showcasing your knowledge – it’s about helping them to do something differently.