315 Words on Brevity
In one of my favorite movies of all time, A River Runs Through It, Tom Skerritt is homeschooling his son and has him write an essay. The young man retreats to his desk and obediently creates a page-long masterpiece before dutifully returning to his father’s office and handing it over. His father, who pastors the local church, makes rapid corrections, circles and X’s across the page before returning it to his son with the words, “Half as much.” The son returns later, having met this task, only to find his father once again marking up the document, much to the young boy’s despair, adding the words as he peers over his reading glasses, “Half again.” Once more, the words used are scrutinized and the report becomes economical and efficient and this time when he walks into his father’s office, class is dismissed, fishing rods are grabbed, and the boy runs off with his brother to pursue their growing passion. (160 words)
In the movie, A River Runs Through It, a homeschooled boy is asked to write an essay. The young man creates a one-page report, then returns and hands it to his father, who makes edits before handing it back along with the instructions, “Half as much.” The son makes another attempt and the father again marks up the page before sending the boy back with the instructions, “Half again.” One more attempt yields an economic essay. Class is dismissed. (80 words)
A homeschooled boy is assigned to write an essay. His father/teacher instructs him to make the same points using half as many words. This continues until the boy succeeds. The lesson is one of brevity without compromising message quality. (40 words)
Most of us take too long to make our point. There is power in making economical communication choices. Appreciation, too. (20 words)
Get your message across using as few words as possible. (10 words)
This was hard to do! (5 words)
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