Fiverr Forum

Dumbing down of the English language


As I sit here and shiver and pray this heater hurries up and does its job, I am appalled with the knowledge of just how bad the English language has been dumb down.

I had a client who - I was just horrified - didn’t like the words - multitude, plethora or even privy. Instead of privy, I had to rewrite the sentence to say “has information to” 1 to 3 words. With plethora and multitude I had to write “all kinds” 1 to 2 words. I know I went to journalism school, being taught to say something quickly to keep readers interested. So, to expand words based on jargon is just killing me.

He is marketing his website as a business that helps other websites in search engine rankings. He doesn’t want to sound - as he said it - like a used car salesman. I think words like plethora and multitude and even privy make him sound - Oh I don’t know - a little high quality. Don’t care about the 2.5 to 2.7 feedback left - I think I just bombed his “Not Recommended” review with my review back.

Oh and idioms - the buyer didn’t like idioms - he said he hates the phrase “brick and mortar” and would rather use “offline world.” In the sentence I wrote, offline world sounded just DUMB. Brick and mortar sounded - hmm, I don’t know - professional. Just my honest opinion!

Another thing about this buyer is the inability to realize his mistake on file corrections (I have to explain this, as it’s even funnier than my above mentioning). He sent the revision request with a file that said MY NOTES. Great! I open it and realize, “Wait a second.” This doesn’t offer any corrections - it’s a completed file with no corrections. However, it’s on a 2015 order. Yes, 2015 folks!

I go on to explain this in a message and didn’t hear anything from him for 30 minutes. I was like okay - time is ticking down - I’ve got to get this file done before heading out to work. So, in his message about the revision and file, he did make some notes. I made corrections - did my own rechecking and rephrased something a little better now that I read it again (it can happen every now and then), and sent back my file.

Suddenly, I’m ignoring his file corrections changes - for 10 minutes; we go back and forth before the “LIGHT” appears above his head, “oops, my bad - wrong file.” Umm. YOU THINK?! (No wonder he wants the dumbing down of the English language - unprofessional to say “MY BAD” - not I apologize or anything to the like).

Now, I’m a mind reader. This is where I notice he’s not liking those big words. When I asked for clarification on a paragraph, he ignored it. Since it was a little redundant anyways, I removed it. He was adamant it wasn’t - it really was - and that he wanted it back in but didn’t explain again, so I did it the best I could. If you can’t get the buyer to clarify what something is trying to say, you become a mind reader folks!

At 3:30 a.m. I’ve already decided that this buyer and I will no longer work together and I need a day off away from my computer. And, I had just gotten up at 3 a.m.

Yes, folks… it’s the $5 order kind… and I shudder to think what the English language and world are coming to.


Phew (20 characters)…


Well if he is targeting his website for his locale, which is the south east Asia region, his “break big words down” might be the reason.

Plus he might be a chef too… who knows…

I hope you gave a reasonable response to his review.


I would like to think I did… Here’s what I wrote:

Buyer asked for revisions over words like plethora & privy, didn’t want idioms (never said) & issues concerning one confusing paragraph were never explained during process. Buyer sent 2015 My Notes file about another order. Took 10 minutes to get him to realize his mistake. Never work with him/her.

It must have done the trick because I have a new large order from a new client. Score!


I used to, haven’t in awhile, work with an online editing, proofreading company. They had different pricing structure to include ESL, which was the most expensive.

Too bad, 5r won’t let you do that or do they? I don’t want to get you in trouble, but it seems like a lot of work for pennies.


I don’t know Gina, not all of us are big earners like you :grin: You are the 1% we are the 99%…:cry:


It should be obvious for buyers that they need to include who an article is aimed at and say so but unfortunately they don’t.

I know most of the “standard of English” checkers suggest that most content should be understood by the average 15-16 year old with a standard education level. The thing is though, for articles on things like “Make money now” sites, the language needs to be of a lesser standard than that - closer to 11-12 year olds - as the target for those sites tends to be those with lower education levels. On the other hand, if your target is doctors, dentists, lawyers etc, language at the level of a 15-16 yr old will seem childish and unprofessional.

Now what about professionals who are not native English speakers? What should that be like?
Buyers need to take responsibility for their requests and/or ask for advice from experienced writers.


Maybe the article was just aimed at a younger audience? Don’t be so fast to judge.