How simple is too simple?

rogersgeorge on August 13th, 2009

Lots of folks like to use big words. That’s okay, but you have to use them right, or those in the know will snicker at you ro roll their eyes. And those not in the know will be led astray.

Today’s sin is choosing the wrong, longer word:

Simple—not complicated. Easy to describe or do. You know what simple means.

Simplistic—oversimplified, hence incorrect. Not enough detail to be useful. “‘Nuke ’em till they glow’ is a simplistic solution to the Middle East problem.”

So don’t use “simplistic” when you mean “simple.” Short words are okay—they’re simpler.

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One Response to “How simple is too simple?”

  1. Oh, golly, yes. “Incredulous” instead of “incredible.” That’s the only one I can think of right now, but I know there are lots of them.

    And then there are the errors of “I don’t really know this word but it sounds good — such as “phenomena” referring to a single thing.

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