March 27, 2009 1 Comment
Today’s idea: Brevity has a noble lineage, from the aphorisms of the ancient Greeks to “The Elements of Style” by Strunk and White. So why bemoan the rise of Twitter?
Language | People are giving the micro-blogging service Twitter a hard time “for attention-span erosion that will hasten our descent into duh, stupidness,” writes Ryan Bigge at The Smart Set. For example, Samantha Bee of “The Daily Show” mocked Twitter’s 140-character limit with “Grunter” — since “not all my followers have time to read my entire tweet.”
Very funny. But concision has a “long, proud history,” Bigge notes, from the koans paradoxical sayings of Asian antiquity to the telegraphic wit of the New Yorker humorist Robert Benchley on a visit to Venice: “STREETS FULL OF WATER. PLEASE ADVISE.”
True, brevity can limit range of thought. But just as the sitcom has not replaced opera, Twitter will not replace the paragraph, the writer contends, “only publicly demonstrate concision’s vices and virtues.” [Smart Set]
via Reading the Web – Idea of the Day Blog – NYTimes.com.