Larry Kutz, a technical communications blogger, makes a great argument for the importance of simplicity and clarity in the article ‘Don’t Jeopardize your audience: a lesson in clarity’. Using play-on words in his title, Kuts compares the concept of being straightforward when technical writing to the final question of Jeopardy when it left all three contestants tied and empty-handed with a grand total of $0.00.
The question left the contestants stumped not because of the topic of the question, but because of the complexity of the question itself. Instead of being straightforward by asking “In what city is the presidential library that was established from a 1957 event”, the writers of Jeopardy decided to create a greater challenge by incorporated the concepts of a year, an event, it was signed into law, a president, and the city, all broken into different parts. But hey, nobody said Jeopardy was supposed to be easy.
The point of the article is to show that making writing overly complicated does nothing but confuse the targeted audience. Technical writing is great in the sense that it is to the point and makes complicated scenarios simpler. Hopefully people can take the idea from Jeopardy that the complication of writing can confuse even some of the greatest minds.
When presenting a product or idea to an audience, the last thing that needs to happen is the untangling of complex details and style. Technical writing needs to be straight to the point and easy to understand in order to get your point across to the intended audience. Do not leave your audience stumped from complex writing as Jeopardy did with their contestants.