Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Complex Word - Paradox

One of the most common writing ideologies is that using hard-to-pronounce and long words passes you as more intelligent compared to someone who uses simple language to express his/her ideas. Nothing could be more wrong in this fallacy,  In fact, useless complex writing makes you sound small-minded. Just consider the title of the study: Consequences of erudite vernacular utilized irrespective of necessity: problems with using long words needlessly. Wouldn’t it be better to title this study something like The effect of using big words when you don’t need them?

To sound smart, you must stop trying to sound smart. Brilliant writing is simple writing - a relevant idea delivered clearly and directly. Nothing is wrong if you have a vast vocabulary and carefully choose the words that blend in with the sentence, but more often than not, the complex sounding words, like 'utilize' instead of 'use', 'close proximity' instead of 'near' or 'facilitate' instead of 'help' are used for the sake of it.
The concept of using big words itself is incomprehensible. Why are students asked to use big meaningless words when shorter and simpler words can do the job all the more efficiently?  
Making speech easier is a challenge, one which is hard for most people(even for me). Rambling on with hard words just makes you look dumb in the people's eyes as they don't have the time to read your work if it is unnecessarily spread with complex words.
Another place where I detest using complex words is in an argument; an argument must be simple to follow and understandable to even the newest reader. Wrapping the argument in a blanket made of semantics, definitions, and grammar lessons just destroys the credibility of the person. Though I love when people do that, as it makes it easy to just point out their useless words and dumbness, lowering the standard of the discussion.
Though the complicated words shouldn't be abolished, their use must be carefully edited and blending them with a sentence almost makes them inseparable. The usage must be monitored closely so as to not degrade the sentence or the written work.


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