Come on, people! What's so scary about "people"?

For whatever reason, we get this idea that using the word "people" in our writing sounds too common, too plain. So we choose a goofy substitute like "individuals" or "persons."
Yes, if you look up "person" in the dictionary, you're probably going to find that "persons" used to be a perfectly acceptable word to describe a defined number of people. But that was then; this is now. Today, "persons" just sounds too formal.
Even more stilted-sounding is "individuals." Using "individuals" in your writing makes it sound like a police report. Hey, I don't think it should even be used in a police report, for that matter. What distinction or clarification does "individuals" make over using "people"?

So when you're writing about more than one person, "people" is your go-to word. It gets the point across without sounding too stiff.

Persons will thank you for making the right word choice.


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