Long words, short wordsThe length of a word is dependent upon its informative content. This has been shown by an American study. Researchers evaluated words from ten European languages. This was achieved with the help of a computer. The computer analyzed various words with a program. In the process, it used a formula to calculate the informative content. The results were clear. The shorter a word is, the less information it conveys. Interestingly, we use short words more often than long words. The reason for this could lie in the efficiency of speech. When we speak, we concentrate on the most important thing. Therefore, words without much information mustn't be too long. This guarantees we don't spend too much time on unimportant things.
The correlation between length and content has another advantage. It ensures that the informative content always remains the same. That is to say, we always say the same amount in a certain period of time. For example, we can use a few long words. But we can also use many short words. It doesn't matter what we decide: The informative content remains the same. As a result, our speech has a consistent rhythm. This makes it easier for listeners to follow us. If the amount of information were always varied, it would be difficult. Our listeners couldn't adapt well to our speech. Comprehension would thus be made difficult. He who wants the best chance of being understood should use short words. Since short words are better comprehended than long ones.