SIMPLISTIC: “treating complex issues and problems as if they were much simpler than they really are” — New Oxford American Dictionary

Glitterary Week actually began earlier this month when Lexicide published a fan submission so egregious we couldn’t wait to get it out there. We kick off the official event, however, with simplistic, which way too many people use when they mean simple.

As any ape can see from the definition, simplistic and simple are not synonyms. Concrete things, such as machines and people, can only be simple. Ideas, plans and solutions are simple if they are easy to understand and express. They are simplistic if they lack the depth and intricacy needed to address the problem or issue. Putting up a fence to keep out coyotes is a simple solution for a sheep rancher. Putting up a fence to keep out illegal immigrants is a simplistic solution to a complex problem.

As with so many other misused words (too many to list here), simplistic is a negative word, yet consultants crow about their simplistic strategies and sales reps brag about how simplistic their software solution is. If you are one of these people (hands proudly on hips or thumbs hooked smugly in suspenders), then carry on with confidence. For one day, your idiocy will win the day, the word simple will cease to exist, and you will join your products in being called simplistic.

Otto E. Mezzo

3 thoughts on “Simplistic”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *