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Old 25-08-2010, 11:44 AM   #1
Barrett Dorko
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Default Brevity

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Lately readers have begun to complain about my short chapters, although in my opinion there is no particular reason why a chapter should be long.

Does one complain to Rimbaud because of the brevity of his verse?

In fact I am old and there are very many subjects about which I have something to say – just not much.
The entire chapter 26 of Larry McMurtry’s Hollywood: A third memoir

I feel the same way.

Brevity and simplicity are companions, and when I can gesture rather than speak, when I can stop a sentence short knowing what I’m about to say is obvious, when I shrug in the face of another’s certainty, well, I do.

I’m old.
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Old 25-08-2010, 12:03 PM   #2
amacs
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Default

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Originally Posted by Barrett Dorko View Post
Brevity and simplicity are companions, and when I can gesture rather than speak, when I can stop a sentence short knowing what I’m about to say is obvious, when I shrug in the face of another’s certainty, well, I do.

I’m old.
With age comes wisdom. I get the first two in that both reflect an economy of communication. I am not sure about the third. While a shrug may be both brief and simple it does not simplify, nor perhaps is it elegant which I suggest could be considered a third companion.

I feel old (but not at all wise).

ANdy
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Old 25-08-2010, 12:11 PM   #3
Barrett Dorko
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ANdy,

You're right, shrugging doesn't simplify, it just makes my life easier.

In my nascent wisdom I no longer fight battles I cannot conceivably win.
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Old 25-08-2010, 05:13 PM   #4
John W
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Default

If brevity is the soul of wit (as Polonius perhaps ironically stated), then wisdom can only be gained through a continual effort towards parsimonious communication.

Occam's rhetorical method?

I'm not sure how wise Polonius actually was, but I know I've a ways to go.
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