I stumbled upon this concise and precise essay on the topic of “complicated vs. complex.” Particularly “the potty training” example demonstrates so well what happens when the two clashes.
I could not have written it better. So I decided to reblog it.
2 Replies to “The Difference between “Complicated” and “Complex” Matters”
Here is another great explanation by http://english.stackexchange.com/users/5095/bye:
Complexity is intrinsic. Something is complex if it involves a lot of [metaphorical] moving parts even when considered as a Platonic ideal.
Complication is extrinsic. Something is complicated by external influences, or because of external influences.
Here is another great take on the subject: