The Power of Brevity

The Power of Brevity

A powerful lesson to learn: the power of brevity.

I’ve been writing, off and on, my whole life. The entire time I have had an issue with brevity, concision, pithiness… ← lol.. I just love to explain. I am pretty sure it comes from two sources within me, at least: my desire to communicate the exact concept (impossible and usually unnecessary) and my desire to communicate the exact visual picture(s) of the thought or memory.

I think those desires are good things, and I believe that I am better off starting with those desires and coming from a point of over-communication, primarily because I still believe that the lack of real communication and understanding between human beings on this earth is still, despite our vaunted information age, a fucking epidemic.

Nevertheless, brevity is a writers best friend, when used wisely.

The reasons why are many, some being:

  • Information overload causing shorter and shorter attention spans (don’t discount this, it is a survivual mechanism created by reaction to the environment, a necessity)
  • Shorter messages are easier to store in short and long term memory
  • Of the three brains available to us, Reptilian, Mammalian, Reasoning/Logical, only the last has the power to store large chunks of information; it is also the hardest to access and prone to being overridden by the two former.
  • When done right, brevity can carry strong emotion. Emotion is stored in the Reptilian brain. The Reptilian brain was the one first formed, and is the one most humans use first.
  • Connecting Reptilian with Reasoning brains together by use of a brief yet truth-packed worded-thing is what helps improve it’s initial, pre-reader power and punch.

This is not just useful to writers. All forms of communication have one purpose in common: to get a concept across. Therefor brevity is useful in all forms, including public speaking, visual/videos, recorded audio, even the forms of communication that are sensed on lower/earlier levels, those perceived by our first two brains, such as tactile, smell etc.

I hope that brief description of brevity and my thoughts on the science behind it might be helpful to future readers!

Feel free to share your thoughts, disagreements or additions. We all learn by understanding eachother.



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