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Friday, November 28, 2008

Simpliciteness

Category: Humor/Satire
Life is what it is. Complexity is in the seeing globe of he who holds the vision. We spend so much of our life stressing out about simplifying complex things that we sometimes make simple things complex. I have my own way of dealing with life. Not many people understand it, but that’s ok. If it’s easier for me to see things in metaphors, and if I make that a simple part of my life, then I don’t really care about how others relate to it.

If I wake up one morning and say it’s raining frozen water, then that’s exactly what I mean. Sure, that’s two words and 5 thought connections more than saying it’s snowing, but that’s how my brain works. Isn’t it simpler to just blurt out what’s in my head than to translate it into words that everyone will understand at once?

I call it simpliciteness. Microsoft Word will surely underline that word in red, and you won’t find it in any dictionary. Unless, of course, you borrow mine. I’ll happily open that drawer in the old dusty right part of my right brain to share with you the secrets to making life simple.

Here is an excerpt from the Book of Simpliciteness, written by yours truly.
Chapter Five: Using Simpliciteness in Every Day Conversation.

Step one – don’t think too hard. Looking for simplicity was beyond the limit of what my brain accepts to do as a complex thing, so it threw out the first suitable alternative. Besides, I was having a serious conversation which required all my concentration, and time wasted on finding the right word seemed like wasting precious minutes better spent making my point. From the smirk I saw on the face of my interlocutor, I understood that the meaning of the word had come across. His declining opinion of me based on the use of a word he considers improper contributed to proving my point. For those still reading, we were debating the power of communication skills versus knowledge. End of discussion, no words wasted. Clearly, I won.

Step two – Focus your hard thinking on things that are worth thinking about. By this I mean that you should only think hard about something if you see value in pursuing the thought. Then focus your discussions on subjects that really matter. There’s no point making life simple if you spend it discussing trivial matters, in which simpliciteness is implied. Simpliciteness is a very complex thing, so you should practice it often and use it wisely.

Step three – Keep a straight face. Blurting out simple words and ideas should feel normal to you. You will be amazed at how many people stop listening because they’re busy trying to figure out what you meant three sentences ago. While they’re busy doing that, feed them more of your wonderful simple speech. There’s no real point to that other than growing more and more giggly at their reaction and closing the discussion on your bewildered subject, but I find it extremely rewarding.

Step four – Know your simpliciteness. Be careful not to use actual words that already mean something to most people when you’re trying to mean something else. Not only is this confusing, but it will give your discussion a whole new meaning, which you may not understand yourself. Complex language is tricky, so I suggest carrying with you a complete dictionary of the Complex Language (aka English) to make sure you are at all times being a true simpliciterian. I will also happily send you the Big Dictionary of Simple Meanings, for only $199 999.99, plus shipping and handling. Make that amount the worth of wherever you’re at, to keep things simple.

Step five – Share the wealth! Client meetings and family reunions are perfect opportunities to use simpliciteness. If people don’t understand you, rephrase and paraphrase using new and exciting simpliciteness techniques. You get much more air time that way, and you’ll definitely make an impression. Simpliciteness will help you be noticed by the boss, guaranteed.

Step six – If you find people are starting to avoid you, tell yourself that’s their perogative. Oh, here’s a great example of simpliciteness. Perogative is much better than prerogative, because the root ‘per’ means ‘through’. Thus perogative means using one’s judgement through their own free will. I can proudly say I am a real simplicitenarian, because I just spent precious seconds going back and correcting Microsoft Word, which had the nerve to ‘correct’ my word to prerogative. Now that, readers, is being a real trooper. Microsoft wants to complexify things for you – don’t let it!!

Step seven – Continuing on step six’s point, people avoiding you are simply not ready to be simplificated. Take pity on them – they will forever be complexifying their life trying to make things simple! Being lonely on break or every Friday night is a great tribute to your success as someone who doesn’t complicate their life. You can use that free time to write to me and tell me how grateful you are that simpliciteness changed your life. I am not so busy these days, so I’m sure to answer.



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