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Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Short is Sweet
If there's one thing I know about writing--and there's at least that many--two are:
a) I don't know nearly enough, and
b) Due to a hyperextension of my Dickens in childhood, I have an overweening propensity for prolixity; incorporating both a sufferant surfeit of formality and a Victorian tendency toward overwrought verbiage.
Like I said . . .
But Lincoln's Gettysburg Address is only 271 words, only 20 of which are more than two syllables: six iterations of "dedicate/d;" two each of "consecrate/d" and "devotion" leaving, among the other ten, "Liberty," "government," "continent," "unfinished," and "remember."
Guy before him talked for two hours. 13,607 words worth.
You remember him, "Ol' What's-His-Name?"
Point is, one thing I do know about effective writing: The truer the thought, the fewer words needed.
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