Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wednesday Word: Complex vs. Complicated

complexadjective |kämˈpleks; kəmˈpleks; ˈkämˌpleks|consisting of many different and connected parts a complex network of water channels.• not easy to analyze or understand; complicated or intricate a complex personality the situation is morecomplex than it appears.

complicated |ˈkämpləˌkātid|adjectiveconsisting of many interconnecting parts or elements; intricate a complicated stereo system.• involving many different and confusing aspects a long and complicated saga.

While the two words seem for most part interchangeable, to me complicated always has a negative connotation complex doesn't. As in:

A: How's your love life?
B: It's complicated.

When I read a review praising a film or book as complicated my inner pedant winces and reaches for the red pen.


  1. I think you've hit the nail on the head in identifying the difference between these two apparently very similar words.