K.I.S.S. Off, Short & Simple


Today I was kind of just bopping around the ‘net and, for whatever reason, K.I.S.S. popped into my head. Familiar? Not familiar? It’s the acronym for “Keep It Short and Simple” (also sometimes called “Keep It Simple, Stupid”) and some of my earliest random memories of it feel like they are coming from way back in elementary school. Specifically, as part of the English/writing instruction practices.

Family lore once upon a time asserted that in the lower elementary grades I absolutely *hated* writing. I don’t remember it that way. I also don’t really remember an awful lot of things prior to probably about fifth or sixth, maybe even seventh, grade. Some oddly specific stuff, sure. Most stuff though? Nope. Those file drawers in my brain are clearly locked or were ravaged by some sort of raging fire or something.

So, anyway…

As a kid, I was a very heavy reader. Voracious, some might say. I read literally anything I could get my hands on, including dictionaries and old encyclopedias that were collecting dust on a shelf in our side room. Maybe the room had an actual name, I don’t know.

It was kind of an extra room off the kitchen that housed the beer fridge (obviously complete with keg tap built into/onto the door and a freezer full of frosted mugs); the wine, liquor and spirits collection; the patio slider doors; two large wired speakers (to place outside the slider doors for parties or sunbathing or barbecues or just drinking and grooving at any point in time); and many shelves adorned with dusty old books no one ever seemed to read or care about beyond their obvious contribution as some sort of décor choice; an old couch; and a bunch of weird knick-knack oddities and “collectibles”. Oh, and the creepiest man in the moon wall plaque. Seriously. Creepy. (Maybe I can find a picture of what it looked like and I’ll add that in… Also, now that I’m thinking about it, there may have been a “matching” sun plaque….)

Man in the Moon Plaque
I *think* this was it… and looking at it now it’s not quite as creepy as it felt to me when I was a kid… 🤔 just… odd-looking.
Image found at/retrieved from George Glazer Gallery.

So, as I was saying, I read a lot. Every book, every type of packaging, every magazine, every newspaper. If it was in our house or found its way into our house, I read it—whether or not it was age-appropriate.

And I think when young people read that much from that wide a variety, their development where grammar, sentence structure, vocabulary, etc. is concerned is just way off from their elementary school peers and their teachers’ expectations. So perhaps the family lore was, in fact, correct, because I can see how I may have hated writing if I was constantly being chided for not following the rules of K.I.S.S.

Of course, now some… several decades later… 😆 it hardly matters at all. I fell really far off the path in terms of my ability to finish a book, let alone multiple books. Despite frequent attempts to get back into the habit—to reawaken that hunger—it seems that as an adult, my time, my funds, and my attention span are all short.

As evidenced by this post, I still struggle with keeping it short and simple! 😳 (and maybe with staying on-topic too…?)

Maybe I’ll go read a book. 💜

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