Why is it Important to Use Simple Words in Place of Complex Words?

Date Published: 2-Jul-2013 | Author: Nancy R Jones

A very simple answer to this question is, simple words are easy to understand, whereas complex words are hard to understand. Readers like to read content that is written in a simple language and easy to understand.

Use of complex words in your content has many disadvantages; here are a few of them.

  • Readers do not appreciate words that are hard to understand
    When you write a piece of content, you need to be very clear on who you’re audiences are and will they be able to understand your content easily. For your audiences to understand your content, you need to use simple words so that the reader gets to know your point of view and he/she may be interested in reading your content in future too.Readers get frustrated if they come across use of many complex words in your content. Just because you are thorough with English and you know complex words, doesn’t mean that reader will know the meaning of the complex words you have used.

    Online readers unlike print readers don’t read word to word. More importantly, they don’t have time to go to dictionary and learn the meanings of all the words you used.
    At times you’re writing demands use of complex words; otherwise you are not able to deliver the right message. Like in technical writing or legal writing, you can use technical terms. It is unavoidable. Make it a point to use complex words as less as possible in your writing.

  • Better to use words that are simple and commonly used
    Make it a habit to use simple and commonly used words in your content. The more you use simple words, the better. Write in a way that comes naturally to you and that keeps your readers interested. Usually people understand and remember familiar words than the sophisticated or complex words.

Here’s a sample of few complex words along with simple alternatives:

Complex Word
Simple Word
begin, start
carry out, start
in accordance with
by, following, per, under
in order that
for, so
in the event of if
issue, publish
this activity, command
us, we
utilize, utilization

Thanks to the Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN), that has made my job easy to find complex words along with simpler alternatives. I have just picked a few words, you can go to this link – www.plainlanguage.gov/howto/wordsuggestions/simplewords.cfm to find more words. You can also use the thesaurus or dictionary to find simpler alternatives for complex words.

Use simple words as much as you can. Do not try to impress your readers with complex words – simple is better. Simple words help you express or convey your message clearly to the readers. Choose words that will effectively convey your ideas and give clarity to your message.

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