I hereby challenge you to three words
I have a dream. Live and learn. Yes, we can. Less is more. Friends are treasures. Knowledge is power. Time is money. Be the change. Dare to win. Inches make champions. Just do it. It’s amazing what you can get across with just three words. And by you, I do mean you.
Do you know what I like the very most about Twitter? How its 140-character constraint introduces a scarcity of space, encouraging brevity and concisiveness while reminding us that – despite what the world at large appears to have concluded with – not everything needs to be in unlimited supply.
I suppose you’ve heard the old adage ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ before? As far as I’m concerned, constraint is the father. Some of the most ingenious (and unvoluntarily amusing) solutions I’ve seen stem from people who have little to help themselves with, thereby encouraging creativity and ingenuity on a level that can be utterly mind-boggling.
Applied to words, the principle is self-evident: quality trumps quantity. Not being able to rant has, at the very least, a strong tendency to shift ones focus from style towards substance. Admittedly, I am by no means innocent in this; I routinely do a second pass on e-mails, blog posts and other documents when my unconscious hints that I’m on the verge of becoming overly complicated or long-winded.
That, incidentally, is when I most often lapse into an excercise of mine which was created to remind myself of the virtues of brevity: the three-word challenge. It’s fairly easy; whatever I’d like to say, I try to make do with just three words.
Terse? Perhaps, but not necessarily. Challenging? Indeed. Yet when I succeed, the feeling of being able to create something that good with such constraint is nigh-on magical. In fact, I’m supposing that people who’ve written famous quotes feel much the same way.
My point in three words: Brevity is golden.
Tag, you’re it.