I came across this quote in a document I was reading at work, and it’s stuck with me.
If you can’t explain it in simple terms, you don’t understand it well enough.Albert Einstein (theoretical physicist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics 1921)
If I’m honest, it probably made me realise that I didn’t fully understand all the details described in the the paper I was reading, which in turn made me laugh as that seemed quite ironic!
I’m a great believer in ensuring use of Plain English in written text – I’m no expert, but I do try, where possible, not to use technical terms, or complex/unknown words in my written text. So again, maybe that’s why this quote caught my attention, as just as I try to write in Plain English, I will always try to talk/explain things using Plain English understandable by a teenage.
So if I don’t understand something well enough to explain it to others in Plain English, it’s true, I can’t really understand it myself! That’s why after realising this when reading the document at work, I knew I had to re-read it and try to better understand the contents of the document, so I could explain them in simple Plain English terms to others.
Just shows, something complex can and possibly should (?) be broken down into smaller simple elements, understandable by others who don’t know or haven’t read the complex document.
Hello from England
A nice simple post to set out the case for simple English, thank you!