I’m not a native english speaker, in fact, I’m Italian, and although I studied English Language and Literature at University, I never lived abroad for a long period. I consider myself to be pretty good at writing in my native language, and this blog could be much less hassle for me if it was in Italian, but I want to keep practicing and improve my english writing skills.
I like my sentences to be clear and concise, I don’t like to dwell into long paragraphs and use obscure words just for the sake of it.
I enjoy reading what I can understand, and I find it painful to read a sentence multiple times just to find out that the meaning of it could have been expressed with a handful of simple words. This is what I often come across at work: incomprehensible documents lacking in substance, written by people who still think they can hide their own ignorance behind a wall made up with obsolete and uselessly complicated words. I see people getting away with it, I even have the impression that is it possible to build a career on these premises.
Concealing at any cost, running away from truth as much as possible, because finally, at the core, there’s nothing worthy of being noticed.
A couple of days ago I was reading about an online dating app named Happn, labeled as the new Tinder. I had to read that article like three times, and this doesn’t include me going back and forth through the sentences to catch their meaning. Then I thought I wasn’t paying enough attention to what I was reading or maybe, that’s what it came to my mind, my knowledge of the english language was still not good enough for an article on the Guardian. Shifting my attention to the comments written by the readers I suddenly felt relieved: I wasn’t the only one struggling with that piece of writing.
It might be an article, a book, a lecture, an essay or even a speech the one we don’t get: more often than we think, it’s not our fault when we don’t understand. It just happens, and before getting self-conscious about our perceived lack of insight, we should stop and think about why what we’ve just read or heard doesn’t make much sense. Sometimes we don’t understand just because we have built our own standards, and lowering them, for whatever reason, is not a wise choice: if deep down ourselves we know that honest and clear communication is a necessity for us, why should we be intimidated by some embellished pile of twisted crap?