Long words save time because they carry the meaning of longer sentences, even paragraphs, of information.

Can you translate yourself? Can you break it down and explain it to a sixth grader?

C.S. Lewis could lecture at the highest levels in a University, and he could write letters to children. He said that if work to translate your thoughts into simpler language, you’ll discover that your ideas weren’t as clear as you thought they were. Continue to do the work, and you’ll bring clarity to yourself, and to your listeners.

You won’t be able to transmit as much information in the same amount of time. But in many situations, that’s okay. Less is more.

“You must translate every bit of your Theology into the vernacular [common ways of speaking]. This is very troublesome, and it means you can say very little in half an hour, but it is essential. It is also of the greatest service to your own thought. I have come to the conviction that if you cannot translate your thoughts into uneducated language, then your thoughts were confused. Power to translate is the test of having really understood one’s own meaning.”

C.S. Lewis, “Christian Apologetics,” cited in McGrath, C.S. Lewis–a Life, 208.