Why muddy the water?


Clarity is one of the most important qualities of good writing. Making your writing easy to understand is also good manners. Why should readers have to work hard to fathom what you are saying (or trying to say).

Turn to virtually any guide to good writing and it will emphasise the importance of clarity.


Nietzsche – By F. Hartmann

Why, then, do so some people deliberately make their writing difficult to understand – by using too many long words, complicated sentence structures and an excess of ‘style’?

I believe the answer is simple and straightforward – it is because they have little or nothing to say. Or they fear that what they do  say lacks originality or is simply mundane or trivial. They attempt to make themselves sound clever, or profound, by being obscure and hard to understand. Or, to put it more simply:

“They muddy the water, to make it seem deep.”

― Friedrich Nietzsche

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