WritersBeat.com
 

Go Back   WritersBeat.com > General Discussion > Writers' Cafe

Writers' Cafe Get a drink, sit down to relax, and chit-chat with other writers.


simplicity versus complex

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 02-24-2016, 04:05 AM
Nacia's Avatar
Nacia (Online)
Legend
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: London, England.
Posts: 9,880
Thanks: 2,416
Thanks 896
Default simplicity versus complex


does today's writing compromise simplicity for the more complex?
in other words topically it s becoming harder to comprehend what we are reading
or writing. enchanted territories are pretty much today's book's oratories.
any thoughts most welcome

__________________
a lesson in
life is a pound
in sound
it reminds us
it is expensive a fine
so bear one
in mind

Last edited by Nacia; 02-24-2016 at 04:08 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-24-2016, 05:39 AM
wrc (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 997
Thanks: 0
Thanks 230
Default

Originally Posted by Nacia View Post
does today's writing compromise simplicity for the more complex?
in other words topically it s becoming harder to comprehend what we are reading
or writing. enchanted territories are pretty much today's book's oratories.
any thoughts most welcome
Hi Nacia.

Your question is great and it's one I deal with everytime I write something. Sometimes I struggle with this question over a single word. For instance I find myself seldom using 'existental' and replace it with some phrase not as good but stops the readers from running for the hills. Recently I replaced it with 'the facts of the matter'.

I've noticed an increase in writings that never gets to the point. And much of this is flowery and complex. 3 or 4 pages of "Ode to the Commode" seems pointless to me.

I recently listened to a a song for an hour, thinking about the lyrics. It summed up my feelings about content very well. That song was "My Homes Not in the Hall of Fame." I suggest a listen to it for all writers. It's a great piece of wisdom.

I'd also suggest a sticky post on the computer: GET TO THE POINT.

WRC
__________________

You're not dead 'til you're dead and when you are you won't know it. So, keep on writing and having fun.

Last edited by wrc; 02-24-2016 at 05:41 AM..
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to wrc For This Useful Post:
Nacia (02-24-2016)
  #3  
Old 02-24-2016, 05:52 AM
CandraH
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Actually, I'd say the opposite. Writing and sentence structure, as well as speech, was more complex in the past. Its a modern thing to speak and write simply.

Not that new writers don't waste readers' time with too much wordage. I guess the whole less is more thing comes with practice.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to For This Useful Post:
Nacia (02-24-2016)
  #4  
Old 02-25-2016, 02:53 AM
wyf's Avatar
wyf (Offline)
Homer's Odyssey Was Nothing
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: UK, bottom half
Posts: 1,097
Thanks: 135
Thanks 126
Default

Originally Posted by wrc View Post
For instance I find myself seldom using 'existental' and replace it with some phrase not as good but stops the readers from running for the hills.
Curious, do you do that because you assume your readers aren't as literate as you? Existential isn't a word I would have thought many people had a problem with.
__________________
How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself. ~ Anais Nin
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to wyf For This Useful Post:
Nacia (02-25-2016)
  #5  
Old 02-29-2016, 02:53 AM
chat bot's Avatar
chat bot (Offline)
Always Online
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: OFF-AIR
Posts: 2,026
Thanks: 6
Thanks 273
Default

will caxton's contemporaries were all flemish, french, or german.
“…the new [Facebook] feature would automatically replace the existing ‘like’ button with a ‘sympathize’ one when users tag their statuses with a negative emotion, like ‘sad’ or ‘depressed.’”
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
💭

Last edited by chat bot; 03-02-2016 at 05:55 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-29-2016, 12:33 PM
wrc (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 997
Thanks: 0
Thanks 230
Default

Howdy wyf.

Maybe you'r over educated... When I've used 'existential' in my conversation most people glaze over.

In addition, even it they know the word, few know the meaning behind it.

I have a rule for myself in writing: KEEP IT SIMPLE. But, hey, that's just me.

wrc
__________________

You're not dead 'til you're dead and when you are you won't know it. So, keep on writing and having fun.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-29-2016, 02:35 PM
Terminal (Offline)
Let me introduce myself
New Author
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 7
Thanks: 0
Thanks 0
Default

I don't enjoy the "dumbing down" of books nowadays. But then, it seems to be the ongoing trend thanks to undereducation.

I mean there was some "researcher" who just said that people are lured into the brainwashing cult of reading [expectations I guess] - and that if we had any self-control we'd not read at all. After all, the average person nowadays apparently finds it very brain-tiring to connect the color red with the word as per this "study".

I wonder what our forefathers would think of such mentality.


I mean when in college, then university, I was tutoring fellow students. English, North American born from North American parents to my knowledge. Grammar, spelling and basic -- sentence structure -- was a hard find. My aunt was a professor at a local college in Quebec for 20 years, she found that 4-7, numbers got worse with the years [by the end she couldn't stop complaining really] out of 10 kids could barely write a sentence that didn't look like their dog had written the essay for them.


existential isn't a hard word really - it is pretty much self-explanatory [exist - ent - ial]. Most people get that ial tacked onto words means "belongs with/to" by what high school? College if "late bloomers".

Now if I said

He dusted off his winklepickers - you'll be scratching your head. It's a word that can be applied to sharp-toed shoes.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-29-2016, 06:49 PM
brianpatrick's Avatar
brianpatrick (Online)
Still Clicking!
Official Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Arizona
Posts: 4,857
Thanks: 402
Thanks 1,054
Default

Good writing is still good writing. The market is flooded with lots of self pub, and new internet alternatives to the novel and even the short story. I think we're getting closer to Andy Warhol's 15 minutes for everyone. Any fucker with an Internet connection and 15,000 Twitter followers is a writer now!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-01-2016, 05:35 AM
fleamailman's Avatar
fleamailman (Online)
Samuel Johnson, obviously!
Official Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 6,657
Thanks: 2,609
Thanks 3,920
Default

("...writing is like painting, where there are certain rules that most folks take for granted, then there are other rules that either come into being or drop out of use due to the change in what medium and what readers today..." mentioned the goblin who wrote his posts his way for a reason, adding "...the way I write might be hard for the "bingo night crowd" to follow at first as it's geared more for those who thumbtext instead but if you're reading this as a text on the telephone I'm told it make for easy reading...")

Last edited by fleamailman; 03-01-2016 at 06:03 AM..
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to fleamailman For This Useful Post:
Nacia (03-02-2016)
  #10  
Old 03-01-2016, 06:13 PM
wrc (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 997
Thanks: 0
Thanks 230
Default

Hi Terminal.

I really enjoyed your take on the topic. How ever when you said the following it stopped me cold.

(I don't enjoy the "dumbing down" of books nowadays. But then, it seems to be the ongoing trend thanks to undereducation.)

Why did you use 'dumbing down'?

It got me to thinking that the audience determines the vocabulary. If writing to a bunch of scientists they probably won't spend much time with your work without words of 3 to 6 syllibles (sp). And if your writing for the general public you wouldn't want to use such words.

I try to make my work as simple as I can so I can be understood by more people. I never thought I was 'dumbing it down'. I have respect for all readers, regardless of the amount of education they have.

Something to think about.

Have a nice writing day.
__________________

You're not dead 'til you're dead and when you are you won't know it. So, keep on writing and having fun.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-01-2016, 06:34 PM
wrc (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 997
Thanks: 0
Thanks 230
Default

Howdy brianpatrick.

Nice to read your voice and it makes me feel good that your still around. I hope all is well. I'm still up to my ass in rewrites plus joined Linkedin. Boy! Talk about energy vampires!

Your post makes it sound like anyone who self publishes on the net is an untalented writer. This isn't true. And putting up a site on the net or maintaining a blog is hard work.

The distance between writer and reader is fast disappearing and all the middle men who got rich putting up barriers to keep writer and reader apart are now running for cover. Their golden goose has flown away. Or maybe shot down by the Net.

However I agree with you that the Net has more bullshit than a convention of politicians. The good stuff will last and the bad will fade.

Take care.

wrc
__________________

You're not dead 'til you're dead and when you are you won't know it. So, keep on writing and having fun.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-02-2016, 01:25 AM
Nacia's Avatar
Nacia (Online)
Legend
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: London, England.
Posts: 9,880
Thanks: 2,416
Thanks 896
Default

Originally Posted by brianpatrick View Post
Good writing is still good writing. The market is flooded with lots of self pub, and new internet alternatives to the novel and even the short story. I think we're getting closer to Andy Warhol's 15 minutes for everyone. Any fucker with an Internet connection and 15,000 Twitter followers is a writer now!
flooded by self publication?
are you saying that is a bad thing?
__________________
a lesson in
life is a pound
in sound
it reminds us
it is expensive a fine
so bear one
in mind
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-02-2016, 02:53 AM
daes13's Avatar
daes13 (Offline)
Heartbreaking Writer of Staggering Genius
Official Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: At 1040 MPH... So I'm not sure
Posts: 1,563
Thanks: 402
Thanks 401
Default

My professor went off on a twenty minute rant about the "dumbing down" of literature. Saying everything was written on a seventh grade level: no sentences over twenty-one words, very few if any compound complex sentences, and a couple words having three syllables. He was red in the face by the time he finished, having obviously extended his heart beyond its sixty year old capability. While he was catching his breath, I asked him if he realized his entire rant was on the seventh grade level according to his own parameters.

Language changes as time goes on, both the meaning of words and how we construct sentences. Pathetic no longer means emotional, and silly no longer means soulful. We tend to frown on concord negatives, even though that was the way of Middle English and still is for some languages.

William Caxton had the idea to print books in English, having brought the technology from Germany. English at the time was seen as a simple and inferior language. A language frowned upon for its simplicity and plebeian sound. Much how people tend to think AAVE (African American Vernacular English) is inferior and illogical because of its use of concord negatives and null copula. Thankfully, Labov put those racists in their place. Yet, even with scientific proof that there is more logic in some non-standard dialects of English than standard English, people think of them as stupid or silly.

Speaking a common form of a language for all to understand is not "dumbing down" or "over simplifying" in any way. It's only dumb if the writer's material is dumb, and only over simplified if the writer does not fully explain the subject. Morphemes are meant to be understood, not picked apart for comprehension.

Language changes and raging against that is just being obstinate. A-prefixing seems beautiful in Shakespeare, but let an Appalachian let it slip with a twang, and they seem simple or dumb to some. Then again, I'm with Wordsworth and his thoughts on poetic diction, and its application to prose.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-02-2016, 02:03 PM
chat bot's Avatar
chat bot (Offline)
Always Online
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: OFF-AIR
Posts: 2,026
Thanks: 6
Thanks 273
Default

"concord" is always a n. and are you sure, for example:

"The terms and empathy and sympathy are often confused, and with good reason. Both of the words deal with the relationship one has to the feelings and experiences of another. Today we explore the differences between these terms and how they are most commonly used!

“I think that’s almost what it is sometimes if you sum up what acting is. It’s just the ultimate expression of empathy.” –Emily Blunt, Los Angeles Times, December 8, 2014

Both sympathy and empathy have their roots together in the Greek term pathos, meaning “suffering, feeling.” The prefix sym- comes from the Greek meaning “with, together with” and the
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
💭

Last edited by chat bot; 03-02-2016 at 02:10 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-02-2016, 02:18 PM
daes13's Avatar
daes13 (Offline)
Heartbreaking Writer of Staggering Genius
Official Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: At 1040 MPH... So I'm not sure
Posts: 1,563
Thanks: 402
Thanks 401
Default

Chat bot, if that was directed at me- I have no clue what you are trying to ask. Or if you're just stating something.

If you're asking if I'm sure about what "pathetic" once meant, read Ruskin's "Pathetic Fallacy."

If you're asking about concord negatives, I think it is often referred to as negative concord, or double negatives.

If you're just making a statement, nice quote!

There... I covered my bases just in case.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03-02-2016, 02:48 PM
brianpatrick's Avatar
brianpatrick (Online)
Still Clicking!
Official Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Arizona
Posts: 4,857
Thanks: 402
Thanks 1,054
Default

Originally Posted by Nacia View Post
flooded by self publication?

are you saying that is a bad thing?

It's good and bad. It gives access to the marketplace for many many good writers who would have never been able to publish a book even twenty years ago. It gives the same access to many many people who aren't good, and probably won't ever be. No filter. Yes, I agree that the filter of publishing companies of the past was sometimes too fine, or political, or whatever, but it was a quality control of sorts, however flawed.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 03-02-2016, 04:35 PM
wrc (Offline)
Scribbling Master
Official Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 997
Thanks: 0
Thanks 230
Default

Hi brianpatrick.

I agree that in the past publishing seemed to provide a culling aspect to what was available to read.

Thank god for the Net. Now it's possible to read something that a bunch of overeducated, pious, money grubbing publishers would have killed on the spot.

As Bob sang: "The Times They Are Changing." And its about time!

wrc
__________________

You're not dead 'til you're dead and when you are you won't know it. So, keep on writing and having fun.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 03-04-2016, 01:12 PM
SteveHarrison (Offline)
Abnormally Articulate
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 118
Thanks: 10
Thanks 43
Default

The best writers are able to present complexity in language that is easily understood. This can be done in a simple or challenging writing style, or anything in between, but it has nothing to do with dumbing down. It's about knowing the level or range of the reading sophistication of your audience. And merely being able to read indicates an acceptable level of sophistication to enable a writer to do his or her job.

Extremely complex ideas can be conveyed in words of one syllable if necessary.
__________________
Web
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
TimeStorm FB page
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 03-07-2016, 03:46 PM
scottelot's Avatar
scottelot (Offline)
Abnormally Articulate
Official Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 147
Thanks: 72
Thanks 48
Default

Depends on my mood or current craving. Either way can be appealing - when done right. Was that too simple?
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 03-21-2016, 11:08 AM
CreativeFlow's Avatar
CreativeFlow (Offline)
Pencil pusher
Official Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 19
Thanks: 0
Thanks 4
Default

It's a combination of today's short attention span which leads to simplicity which is actually good as opposed to dry academic writing. OK that sentence was a bit convoluted but what I'm saying is simple is good and today's conditions lend to simplicity so it's all good! lol...haven't had my coffee today.
Reply With Quote
Reply

  WritersBeat.com > General Discussion > Writers' Cafe


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
the poor versus the rich will they ever bridge the gap? Nacia Writers' Cafe 11 07-07-2015 05:23 AM
moral versus legal Nacia Free Writing 0 07-29-2014 11:44 AM
In my simplicity, I found your beauty KyanderuEponine Free Writing 1 01-07-2013 02:41 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:28 AM.

vBulletin, Copyright 2000-2006, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.