Brevity: One of my favorite things

I looked over my daughter’s shoulder as she was studying the Civil War, and was reminded that the Gettysburg Address, one of the most well-known speeches of all time, was only three minutes long. Edward Everett, a prestigous orator of the time, spoke for two hours that day, but whose speech do we remember?

Only someone who has thoroughly mastered a subject can explain it briefly, but clearly.  Any amateur can wallow around in unnecessary words until the reader is so confused he knows less than he did before.  A true expert can bring the complicated to my level with clarity.  Spareness in prose is a beautiful and elegant thing, as when a sculptor chips away everything that is not the sculpture, and all that is left is the art.

“If I had more time, I would write a shorter letter.”  (attributed to Mark Twain)


About tisawhite

I'm a mother of 4 children. I'm Catholic and I'm a lawyer.
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