Apothegms. Of Concision.

  • A concise sentence and a vapid sentence often have in common their size and form.
    • Many love short sentences but find concise ones distasteful.
      • For ease of reading, most prefer the short over the concise.
      • For the same reason, most dislike reading from someone who takes too many words to get at a thought. “Better not to say it if it takes too long to say.”
        • Most prefer sentences to repeat their own thoughts and not to say anything at all.
  • A short sentence might not be concise.
    • A long sentence might be concise.
    • A concise sentence pregnant with meaning has no certain size.
  • The advent of the meme is the downfall of concision.
    • Concision is not for the sake of the reader’s thinking quickly. Rather, it is for the sake of the reader’s thinking much and clearly.
    • If a meme demanded too much time, as a concise sentence might, it would not become too popular.
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One Judgment in Two Sentences. Of Dance. Of Revelation and Interpretation.

In dance, an isolated movement that appears awkward is not necessarily a mistake, especially not if it advances into a more beautiful one.

In dance, the glory of the final flourish does not render all previous movements worthless, nor even worth less.

A Reflection. A Maxim. Of Words. Of Meaning.

Too long did I fuss over symmetry and neat correspondence between word and world, word and thought, word and meaning. Most words are multivalent. But making one word have one meaning is tedious, in some cases impossible, and generally paralyzing.

One does not say anything, does not begin to say anything, if one fights against words themselves.

Questions. An Exhortation. Of Symbols and Metaphors.

1. When we call a dog “man’s best friend,” what are we saying about human friendship?

2. Take time to unfold metaphors and symbols. See the connections within them. Try to discern what is meant in the language. Also, be aware of what the language presents in addition to what was meant. If you carefully pull open the connections, you will discover that you may have been ignorant of thoughts most lovely—and unknowingly assenting to thoughts most horrible.

3. Were you able to detect the subtle metaphor in #2?