Simple words

If you are British royalty or want to make an impression, It's best to use smart, complex words. Conundrums. Exasperation. Acquiesce. Elated and exquisitely eloquent.

But if you aim for readers around the world who speak all sorts of non-native English, simpler words will work better. Non-natives may not know some of your advanced vocabulary, so they will have a problem with your text. And since we need people to understand us, simpler is better:

Advanced Simple
Visible aberration in behavioral patterns Unusual behavior, he acts strange
Joey Tribiani's acting was abysmal Joey's acting was hopelessly bad
Their corporate culture abhors initiative Initiative not welcome in their company
Finally, the parties acquiesced Finally, the men agreed
Dolores was amiable and at times demure Dolores was open, friendly, and sometimes — playfully shy
His code was verbosely commented, but still arcane His code had many comments, but it was still hard to understand
She hoped to cajole him into signing the deal She hoped to trick him into signing the deal by telling him how great of an actor he was
Tools for communicating with your clients Tools that help you talk to your clients
I cooperate with companies all over the world I work with companies all over the world

I'm basically taking the advanced words from and translating them into plain English. It's tyring, but you got the idea. Or should i say taxing? Depleting? Debilitating? Fatiguing?

Now, I understand this is the opposite of what your teacher of English taught you. She said, the more advanced your vocabulary, the better your English. And she's right. But think about this: why do you need to speak advanced English, if your reader doesn't understand what you are saying?

Seriously, if you write to help others understand something, why make your text less understandable?

If you don't trust me, trust Busta Rhymes

Jul 29   clarity   simplicity