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We’re not great fans of acronyms, but we do have a soft spot for KISS meaning Keep it short and simple. It’s a great summary of good writing principles: don’t write more than you need and don’t overcomplicate your style. Your readers will thank you for it.
The so-called KISS principle, first coined by Kelley Johnson, an engineer at Lockheed, was Keep it simple stupid. In communications, the principle became Keep it short and simple.
Johnson was not alone in recommending simplicity. Albert Einstein, perhaps the greatest intellectual thinker of the last 100 years one said: ‘Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler’. Leonardo Da Vinci said: ‘Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’.
When you write, keep it short and simple. Short and simple sentences are the easiest to read. In business and government writing, readers want this style in writing. They want to read documents once, understand its meaning and move on.
But most people can’t write in a short and simple style. Here’s someone writing about the KISS principle on a website.
“A writer is a very complex person and this complexity that everyone speaks about is in fact the mixture between the style and the information transmitted to the target audience. Writers must always consider their target public and they must do this while and as they respect the four most important rules of writing in general. These four rules are to be taken into consideration by everyone who publishes any piece of writing and they are most of the times related to the KISS principle.”