Keep it Simple Stupid
A cliché symbolised by the mnemonic KISS. I have always found the phase slightly insulting.
What is so stupid about keeping things simple? Or is it saying that if you use a word with more than two syllables, it is you that is stupid? Or is it saying that because most people are stupid you have to keep things simple?
However I read this phrase, I can’t see a positive slant to it. I have tried changing the words to read Keep it Simply Simple (KISS) but that doesn’t really work for me either.
Let me be clear though. I do believe that simple is best. The UK average reading age is 8. That is quite scary! And when there are so many messages crossing our paths each and every minute, ones that are easy to assimilate are more likely to be remembered.
When you are writing you might like to consider:
- The length of your sentences. Shorter sentences are easier to read. Keep them to less than 25 words.
- The characters per word. Shorter words are easier to read.
- The number of sentences in each paragraph. Shorter paragraphs are easier to read.
You can find out how easy your writing is to read quite simply, using Microsoft spell check.
Click on spelling and grammar. At the bottom of the blue dialogue box that there is a frame called options. Click on this. Tick the show readability statistics and close that frame.
Now when you finish spell checking you will have a report on the readability statistics of the piece you have written. Wow, how great is that?
You should be aiming for a high reading ease and a low readability statistic.
This piece has a 78.2 reading ease and a 4.6 readability status. That’s pretty good. I thought this was amazing when I discovered it a few years ago, I hope it helps you too.