“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?
Today’s (or rather, yesterday’s) Daily Prompt is a subject that I have only recently truly understood.
I downloaded an app on my iPad which was some sort of brain training thing. To be honest, I’d never heard of brevity before. But I have experienced it constantly over the last few years without even realising it.
You see, my ‘other half’ doesn’t have much listening power and, as such, can’t digest – as he describes it – “a million words” whenever I try to explain something. He listens in, what he calls, soundbites. He is one of those people who just doesn’t have the time or interest to listen to other people, yet he repeats what he says so many times that I’m beginning to think he just talks for the sake of talking, whether he has something new to say or not!
I find his attitude to words infinitely frustrating. Me, now, I love words. My favourite book, as I’ve mentioned before, is the English Dictionary – any version, I really don’t mind. I love reading and I love quotes. I also like to know where words have come from, how they started out and how they’ve evolved into the words we use today.
To me, using only a few words doesn’t really clarify or clearly explain what point you are trying to make. If I am talking to the OH and he asks my opinion on something, of course I’m going to use a million words, simply because he will not understand what I’m saying otherwise. The trouble comes with the fact that his brain seems to process only the odd snippet of information which leads to some dreadful misunderstandings and wrong judgements about me and my personal life.
What would be the point of having all those lovely descriptive words if we are to cut them out of our letters, books and conversations? How can our imagination soar on the wings of flowery language if we are to just leave out the elaboration? I failed my English Language ‘O’ level exam when I was 16 – why? Because I had trouble back then with putting down enough words to make a good story. I don’t know if this is the reason why I love words so much as an adult. I think the only reason I wasn’t good at making up stories is because I’m not very good at lying either – which is okay with me, I don’t like liars anyway.
So, in brief (if you could call all that waffle brief) I am more a fan of using a lot of words to get my point across. It reveals a passion in me that I do not wish to conceal. I cannot live my life in black and white, I need all those beautiful greys in amongst it all and if people around me don’t want to listen, they have the free will to misunderstand and judge me to their heart’s content. I could change the way I am but I’m not going to. Why would I? After all, I am me and I am, most importantly, true to myself.
(Please forgive the lack of trackbacks and pingbacks, I haven’t yet figured out how to do it now that the prompt page has changed, so much easier when it was just a list :s)