The Daily Prompt: Brevity Pulls.“I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.” — Blaise Pascal

Where do you fall on the brevity/verbosity spectrum?


Normally, I love to be brief and to the point. But as Pascal muses in a seemingly contradictory way, I need more time to put forth a concise point with out digressing much than to write down a 1000 word flowery essay.

The best example for brevity is the response of the King of Sparta to the invading enemies. I read this story in one of my textbooks. The enemy sends a messenger warning Spartans that if they break into Sparta they would create havoc in the country. It was quite a lengthy and threatening message. After listening to the full message, the King’s response was a simple “If”. Ha!

I do like verbosity as long as it keeps me guessing and captured. How would a novel be sold if it were as terse as a Spartan response?!

So for me, like everyone else, it boils down to the context. If I want to report a football match, I would love to be as verbose as possible. If it were an official communication, I would keep it simple else my boss would kick my ass! Finally I would put myself closer to brevity end of the scale as the routine life demands that way. But I would concede that  being verbose is not everyone’s cup of tea, certainly not mine. Verbosity is as much an art as brevity!


8 thoughts on ““If”

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