Monday, November 12, 2007

Simplistic

Speaking, as I dimly remember I was, about intolerable words, what about 'simplistic'? I've heard is half a dozen times in the last 24 hours and, in each case, 'simple' would have been better. Simplistic is the adjective from simplism, but nobody ever says 'simplism'. In  fact, you should never say simplistic except when you pick up a fragment of a tree and somebody says, 'Is that branch?' You must, of course, reply, 'No, simply stick.'

8 comments:

  1. What are your thoughts on Ergonomic. A word which describes the sound of an expensive items travel and arrival at speed on some solid surface. Or a distance short of the 22, the exact point at which the ball bounces. That white product destroying, satisfying thunk.

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  2. Isn't that a little simplistic, Bryan?

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  3. There's a little swerve away from insult in this. If you apply "simplistic" to a comment, it suggests that the comment itself is rather empty, over-simplified, exaggerated. If you apply "simple" to it, the other party may well conclude that you think he or she is brain dead rather than shooting the breeze and promptly clock you. So beware!

    There's a good definition of "simplistic" in the Urban Dictionary.

    "Well mannered player of Warcraft III, and member of the gamers clan. Usually well-mannered, mostly due to his lack of skill.

    Simplistic sure is nice...but he needs to get some skillz"

    "Unacceptable" gets my goat - so often used by puritans for whom every disagreeable aspect of life must be traced to a human cause and a gross moral failing of some kind.

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  4. Inappropriate is even worse. I like ineffsable though.

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  5. Even a bad word can be put to good use. i took relish in using the official-sounding 'inappropriate' in discussing what £5 Xmas gift i should get a fellow worker as part of the 'Secret Santa/Satan' thing (the worker is an unsmiling woman who seems to have no interests or passions):

    Elberry: Would weaponry or pornography be inappropriate?

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  6. So is the village idiot simple or simplistic?

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  7. Similarly - "utilise". There are so few examples when "use" could not be substituted, saving 4 letters and two whole syllables.

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