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Lifting the Curse

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

My last post was about the curse of knowledge—how it afflicts experts and how to overcome it.

Still, you might not think it applies to you (that is a wicked symptom of the curse, after all).

Here are some warning signs that you're under the curse.

You're tempted to use technical language where plain language will suffice.

Example: "Results showed subjects significantly overvalued potential losses compared to expected gains." vs "Results showed people cared more about losing money than gaining money."

Your grammar is clunky and vague, because you've been conditioned to think complicated = competent.

Example: "Some criteria commonly used to evaluate subjects' responses, although not necessarily exhaustive, include..."

You skip over explaining new ideas, assuming their logic is self-evident.

Example: Sentences beginning with phrases like "Obviously," "Of course," and "It's clear"

This is just a fraction of possible offenses—what writing or speaking tics is your industry guilty of?

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