How to make people understand your written language
Check out this statement:
From inception, we've been made cognizant of the deleterious substances used at this plant. We should endeavor to expedite the promulgation of a law that would terminate the utilization of such pernicious substances...
Now read this -:
From the start, it's been brought to our attention the use of harmful substances at this plant. We should try to quicken the issuance of a law that stops the use of such toxic substances...
Now guys, tell me the truth, be honest with yourselves, after reading both statements (both of which mean the same thing), which one did you easily grasp it's meaning?
Many of us while writing, use words different from when we speak. Yes, I know that written English is different from spoken English, but that doesn't mean that we should daze people by using unnecessarily big words when trying to explain something of a complex nature(God, it's already complex to begin with), or even something not so complex.
Lawyers and Doctors often do this. While you may say/think that it is kind of necessary that they use such words when writing(especially since theirs is a formal world), most of them only use big words to confuse those who read what they've written. That is why when a contract is being drawn, mostly by lawyers, you're asked to have a legal person present, because they only understand their gibberish.
I was talking to a friend a few days ago, and he said that sometimes when he's asked to write on a subject he hardly knows anything about, and finds it hard to fully express himself like he'd want to, what he does is, string together a couple of big words to confuse whoever would be reading his article.
Many people use big words to show how proficient they are in English. They are so used to using these mind boggling words that they can't help themselves even when talking to their friends who would lose concentration trying to grasp the meaning of the words that roll off their tongues.
Permit me to quote someone, he says, "something comes over most people when they start writing. They write in a different language than they'd use if they were talking to a friend. The sentence structure and even words are different." He goes on to say that "no one uses "pen" as a verb in spoken English. You'd feel like an idiot using "pen" instead of "write" in a conversation with a friend." Then he takes an excerpt from the book A History of Ancient Britain by Neil Oliver:
The mercurial Spaniard himself
Declared: "After Altamira, all is
You wouldn't want to go to a friend, describing Picasso as "the mercurial Spaniard." All you'll get is a tilt of the head from your friend and a look of loss. From me, all you'd get is a nod of the head so as to encourage you to continue spitting your gibberish. I love to read, especially well thought out and we'll written pieces, but what I wouldn't love is if I have to go scrambling for a dictionary as I come across a big word(s) in every sentence. I'd drift away and the article would rapidly lose meaning.
You want to hold the attention of your readers? Then be simple. It's not bad to show us how well skilled you are in putting words like: disingenuous, voluptuary, fulminate, nescience, verbosity etc. in sentences, but for you to be able to make sense to that one who wants to understand what you've written without feeling the need to keep a dictionary by his/her side, be simple.
I love to learn new words every day, but when there are 10 or more new words in just two sentences, then I'm overwhelmed. For the sake of ease of understanding, simplicity is key.