Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Monday 12 November 2012

TLDR or Is Brevity the Soul of Wit?

Is brevity the soul of wit or have we just all lost the ability to concentrate? Do any of us still read a great book when we can simply watch the movie?

I belong to a reading group. We meet once a month to talk about a single book, and, each month, at least a third of us has failed to read the book we have chosen, all the way through. Note; I say the book we have chosen. We joined the group because we like books, we like to read, and, for whatever reasons we wanted to talk about what we read, and we have a system whereby we all get to nominate books and then vote on the books we’ve nominated, and yet, still, we don’t manage to get to the end of the books we’ve elected to read. It’s baffling!

There is a reason why these blogs are between 300 and 500 words long; when I decided to write a blog, I worked out how many words would fit on one screen, and that was the length I decided to write to, because I didn’t want to be in danger of boring anyone. I wanted people to want to read my thoughts. I wanted them to visit the blog regularly. I bought into the idea that if a post was too long, it wouldn’t matter how interesting it was, people wouldn’t read it. I don’t know about the rest of you, but we have shorthand for not getting to the end of something, however good it might be. We literally say TLDR: Too Long Didn’t Read... We don’t even manage to spit out those four, single syllable words.

I like to read other people’s blogs. I read something most days from the blogroll at the bottom of this page, but, despite liking all of the blogs listed there, otherwise why would I list them (OK, you’re right, I do encounter some technical difficulties altering the content of my blog, unless it’s simply posting my daily ramblings), I always check to see how much the blogger has written before I commit to reading it. If I have to scroll down more than once, I do think twice before I start reading, no matter what the subject, or how interested I am in it.

I can hardly believe I, of all people, am admitting that!

We claim we don’t have time, or that our time is more valuable than other people’s, but in the end, didn’t we just get lazy? Didn’t we just stop extending our minds?

I think it’s time that I slowed down and stopped making excuses, and started concentrating and looking at things at a deeper level, and right here, right now, I’m going to ban TLDR.

Of course, if whatever I’m reading really is boring, then I’m going to stop reading it, so, be warned, but if the writing’s good and the subject matter’s interesting, I’m going to dedicate some time and some concentration, and I’m going to take an interest and go a little deeper, so... go on... enthrall me.

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