Daily Productive Sharing 158 - How to Simplify Writing

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(The English version follows)


之前的分享提到过知识的诅咒 (the curse of knowledge),简单来说就是输出者默认对方和自己有相似的知识水平,从而导致输出内容过于高深,导致对方无法理解,具体可以参见 Daily Productive Sharing 150 - 20210312。今天的分享中,作者表示要简化自己的写作,并且给出了很多原因。其实这就是在有意识地避免知识的诅咒。



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Our previous sharing mentioned the curse of knowledge, which simply means that the the one who outputs defaults to a similar level of knowledge as the other person, thus making the output too complicated for the other person to understand, see Daily Productive Sharing 150 - 20210312. In today's sharing, the author states that he wants to simplify his writing and gives many reasons for this. This is in fact a conscious attempt to avoid the curse of knowledge.

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I try to write using ordinary words and simple sentences.

The less energy they expend on your prose, the more they'll have left for your ideas.

When you write in a fancy way to impress people, you're making them do extra work just so you can seem cool. It's like trailing a long train behind you that readers have to carry.

Of course, fancy writing doesn't just conceal ideas. It can also conceal the lack of them.

Simple writing also lasts better.

When I write a sentence that seems too complicated, or that uses unnecessarily intellectual words, it doesn't seem fancy to me. It seems clumsy.

Much of this editing is cutting, and that makes simple writing even simpler.