So… I got this idea when I was at a starbucks (where i get most of my ideas) with a good friend who was writing an essay. She kept asking me for the complex version of words so she could write them in her essay. It brought me back to the “english” essays I use to write back in my student days. Instead of writing the simple words which I meant, I used a thesaurus to find a more complex version of the word that I wanted, in order to sound more “intelligent”. But now looking back I think, why couldn’t I use the simple word that I wanted to? So many times we try to use complex words or complex sentences in order to sound more refined, yet those jumble of words make less sense than the simple meaning. Complexity for complexity sake is pretty much a whole lot of nothingness. Simplicity itself is much more difficult, ironically much more complex. I remember when I wrote my master’s thesis, and my supervisor told me to use simpler wording to get my point across, where the meaning in the sentence was more important than the way the sentence was worded. Presenting complex ideas in a simple way is difficult.
When I thought more about complex simplicity is, I thought about nature. Nature seems so simple – it’s there for us to observe and enjoy. But think about something pure like a water drop – it seems simple, but the complexity and organization of the molecules and adhesive forces holding together that water drop is entirely complex. That is an example of complexity in something simple (to the naked eye).
So the point of this “rant”? Don’t be complex for the sake of being complex. Simplicity is beautiful, it’s natural, it’s complex without trying to be complex. Say (or write) the words you want to, don’t muddle their meaning by trying to find a more complex word. Simple or complex – just be true.