If you can’t explain something in simple terms, you don’t understand it

If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t really understand it.

attributed to Richard Feynman or Albert Einstein

I try to write very simply here, and it’s for a couple of different reasons:

It’s easier to read and understand.

Why not make it as easy to understand as possible? If I want what I write to be useful for the recipient, I want it to be as clear, simple, and understandable as possible.

It shows me how well I understand it.

If I start a post and it doesn’t flow or is easily written, I usually set it aside, let it simmer somewhere in me (without paying much or any attention to it), and return to it another day. Most often, it is then much easier to write and it flows better.

There is another reason why I chose to use a simple language. It’s because I have seen others, especially in academia, who use an overly complicated and fancy-sounding language. And more often than not, they do it – either intentionally or unintentionally – to mask a lack of clarity and poor understanding from their side. Some also do it to appear more impressive and mask a lack of self-esteem. I don’t want to play that game.

I want to understand and come from some clarity. And I want to use the writing process to find a bit more clarity.

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