Simple can be best

As we watch all the happenings in Congress, or perhaps reading a best-seller novel, or the daily news or many other events, including deciphering our own prescription drugs, sometimes we are quite intrigued by the many big words that really we have no idea what they mean.

Could it be that if smaller words with the same meaning were used, we could actually know what they are talking about?

They call this plain language! A good education and a vast vocabulary, indeed, is something to be proud of, but we also reside in an area in our valley where there are common folk that can speak the King’s English quite well.

We need not be pounded constantly with intellectual words and facts that make us scratch our heads in amazement. This valley in particular has been champions of the working and labor class and uses the vocabulary best known locally.

You see, the smallest of words can have a big meaning, have the power to heal and even inspire and help many. The smallest of words have giant meanings, too.

Plain language to many categories is so useful instead of words that only confuse and hinder actions to be taken in any given subject. The government itself just loves to let you know what they know as their vocabulary amazes us all.

The word “sequester,” for instance, lately has been used extensively. Some of us had no idea what a sequester was and were lost as arguments prevailed on the subject in our own living rooms during the nightly news. We seem to get the grasp after a while about spending cuts and the government budget, but it is never officially explained to common folk.

I believe that the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare was never really explained in simpler terms so, again, the common people seemed to be in the dark as to what it really was and how it could actually help them.

In the world of medicine, there is a major gap between the health information people receive and what they actually understand. You see again that even high-skilled individuals can easily find that the health care system is much too complicated to understand.

It is not just poor literacy skills. Some people, in fact, learn better by listening rather than reading a bunch of big words, especially medically speaking.

As an example, here are just a few words and their simpler meanings that just may be easier to understand:

Ameliorate: improve.

Augment: increase.

Compensation: pay.

Components: parts.

Consequently: so.

Diminutive: small.

Expenditure: cost.

Formulate: plan.

Incombustible: fireproof.

Magnitude: size.

Methodology: methods.

Necessitate: need.

Paradigm: model.

Remunerate: pay.

Substantiate: prove.

Using plain language or smaller, understandable words should become an accepted practice in many fields, including finance, insurance, banking and the many laws that are so misunderstood.

People in high places instead of promoting their vast knowledge of most subjects and their splendid vocabulary should realize that they are talking over the heads of many people who just want to hear it in plain words.

“Dumbing down” is a phrase constantly used in describing making words and definitions a bit simpler to digest. Plain language is not dumbing down! We can say that simpler language creates a much clearer and effective communications as in examples of Abraham Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address, and perhaps another noted American called Mark Twain.

Yes, life could be much simpler if simpler words tend to exist, but a good vocabulary is not bad, either, if you have it.