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The Useful Clarity of Venn Diagrams

Did you know it was a Yorkshireman who invented Venn diagrams? John Venn (1834 – 1923) born in Kingston upon Hull, was a mathematician, logician and philosopher noted for introducing the Venn diagrams, used in logic, set theory, probability, statistics, and computer science. He also built some odd machines: one was meant to bowl cricket balls, and did so effectively, actually bowling out a top ranked player four times consecutively.

That means that the first Venn diagram could have looked something like this:

Putting that aside, though, the Venn diagram is a very straightforward way of explaining some complex ideas. The beauty of the diagram is that it requires little by way of explanation — and so I offer these, as tools for the assistance of the writer. They may prove insightful for many. The ones to do with marketing at the end may help to clarify some things with which writers in particular seem to struggle…

I hope that these simple pictures have made you realise a few things.

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