Writing well is hard. So is editing. But it matters.

It’s easy to get caught up using jargon and lingo to make ourselves sound smarter.

But that’s not what people want, or need. Derek Thompson in conversation with Morgan Housel said:

Knowing big words is neat. Occasionally using fancy latinate words can, ceteris paribus, optimize reader utility in a bounded informational environment. But basically smart people just want complex ideas made simple. And they respect people who can make the complicated simple while preserving nuance.

Simplification is all the more important when you consider why we write. Paul Graham notes:

If writing down your ideas always makes them more precise and more complete, then no one who hasn’t written about a topic has fully formed ideas about it. And someone who never writes has no fully formed ideas about anything nontrivial.

When it comes to money, it is easy to get sidetracked by language. As Josh Brown in this post notes:

As you’re reading this, someone is hard at work in a lab somewhere cooking up the next big idea in Upside Minus Downside technology. It might be an ETF. It might be a hedge fund. It might be a structured note. Who knows what form it could take next time?

That next, new big idea could cost you time and/or money. Words matter. Language matters. Not everybody using big words and imprecise language is necessarily trying to get one over on you. But the people who ARE intent on fooling you definitely are.

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