"When I was young I set out to change the world.
When I grew older I perceived that this was too ambitious,
so I set out to change my state.
This too, I realized as I grew older, was too ambitious,
so I set out to change my town.
When I realized that I could not do even this, I tried to change my family.
Now, as an old man I know that I should have started by changing myself.
If I had started with myself, maybe then I would have succeeded
in changing my family, the town, or even the state-
and who knows, maybe the world."

August 14, 2016

Use "thing" with care

We try to explain something so people easily understand. People want to know it. But there are times we need to talk about some complex things. Things that people feel hard to get and remember. Say, we might be an expert in a field/niche. Explaining complex things to people using expert-friendly technical words or jargon confuses more at the beginning. Non-expert and even half-expert people may not get what that thing is.

Try use "thing". Replacing jargon with "thing" when explaining complex things to people seems to make the things simple. Because the word "thing" is a general thing (that can be anything). We focus on the core idea. People begin to understand the core thing or message of the story, i.e. maybe what something does interestingly and how it works; therefore, more encouraged to know further.

But careful. We might further complicate things. Because it is general, we need to clarify the "thing" used when explaining things. Do not mix up several individual things involved in the story. Use "thing" for short story and it seems to work better for casual talk.

Looks like I have used "thing" with care here to explain some complex things. What if more people start using "thing" more often in conversation. OK, speechless.