KISS writing is more than simple words

KISS is easier said than done. You can’t just use simple words that are clear to you. If there’s any cleverness to it, you will probably not reach most people.

For example, according to John Lennon,

There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done […] All you need is love

You couldn’t find individual words much simpler than that, but put them together and it’s not KISS at all.

I thought it was pretty clever and a nice message, but the most common reaction, if you test it out, is “Huh?”

Maybe it would help to put the “can’t be done” in annoying air quotes?

It’s even harder with non-native speakers, including the ‘love’ part, because many surprisingly suppose that this is talking about romantic love, not agape.

So probably a good tactic, if you want to make sure you’ll be understood, is to run your simple words past an actual test audience that includes non-native speakers, and see if your message is immediately clear to all of them. (If they disagree with your message, but they understand the message, it passes this clarity test.) Chances are that you’ll need to make it simpler, even if you’ve used simple words, before it’s truly KISS.

KISS language is a transparent medium like the lens of your eye. Add a drop of virtuosity, and it gets clouded.

According to Jules Buccieri

Don’t let your mouth run away without you. Use a Spartan amount of words, selectively. Speak in a creative way, dreaming pleasantly of desires, inspiring others, promising what you will do to forward the action. Then, keep your word. No more opinions. No pontificating. No expression of knowledgeable bullshit calculated to make you look brilliant. No showing off. All of this blab keeps you from being real. And (magic fact) if you aren’t real, you aren’t powerful. Also, when you’re bullshitting, needing people to admire you, you attract bums, bullshitters who play up to you for motives.

Did you wash them?


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