The stuff in wine that makes you feel strange

A helicopter is a sky boat with turning wings.

A microwave a food-heating radio box.

And corn is yellow food wrapped in leaves.

What exactly is going on here?

In the book Thing Explainer, Randall Munroe explains complex stuff in simple language. Things like the electromagnetic spectrum, tectonic plates, the atom bomb, the constitution, and cells.

He only uses images and the thousand most commonly used words.

For instance:

This bag breaks tiny things into even smaller, simpler parts they’re made of. Your body uses it in many ways, like to get rid of the stuff in wine that makes you feel strange […].

You probably won’t use Munroe’s approach anytime soon in your professional communication.

And it isn’t necessary to avoid words like helicopter, microwave, corn, alcohol, and liver.

Still, Thing Explainer inspires us to use less jargon (big words). Because jargon is not appropriate in every situation, nor for every audience.

As a quick exercise, try writing a few sentences about your topic in this way. And then check the result in Munroe’s simple writer.

Too much effort? Then just consider this a book recommendation 😉