While reading tutorials or watching presentations, I often come across this sentence: “it’s simple!”. The author uses that sentence to introduce an idea and explain something. I think “it’s simple” shouldn’t be used to explain something.
Using “it’s simple” didactically means:
- I am enthusiastic about the topic
- You can understand what I’m explaining
- There shouldn’t by any disagreement about what I'm saying
But saying “it’s simple” can:
- Undermine the listener’s efforts
- Set false expectations
- Imply that anything less than immediate understanding is stupid
Examples of “it’s simple” misuse
Category theory is about something very simple: composing functions. Philip Wadler. Category Theory for the Working Hacker (YouTube, 9:23).
Go is not a small language but it’s a simple one. Rob Pike. Keynote: The Expressiveness of Go.
This is the kind of formulas that I’m talking about, you know, really easy to understand. Leslie Lamport. Heidelberg Laureate Forum Lecture (YouTube, 15:44).