The theory of Occum’s Razor which dates back to the 1300’s is that “among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.” Obviously we cannot date this idea to a specific point in time, we can presume people understood this long before an English Franciscan friar put it into a form we can quote today. So why do we want to complicate things? Why do we want to look for complications, hidden meanings and misdirection? Certainly those things are present in our communication, but the best way forward is usually the simplest.
Please do not confuse the term “simplest” with the concept of “easiest.” I think of a quote attributed to Steven Jobs of Apple fame who is quoted as saying “I don’t want to give the public what they want, I want to give them what they don’t yet know they want.” Simple, not necessarily easy, yet we can easily understand why this would be the perfect way to move forward.
We do over think our lives. We underestimate the ability of others to hear what we are saying unless we wrap our message in the buzz-words and jargon of the day to make it appear we are relevant and frequently end up complicating the entire process, creating roadblocks to clear communication and accomplishment.
Rather than use 200 words to express a concept, will 5 words work?