BREVITY IS THE SOUL OF WIT

The meaning of the term, “Brevity is the soul of wit” is that a clever person is capable of conveying himself within the minimum viable words.

A less intelligent and mediocre persons will go on writing pages on a certain subject. But, an intelligent person will possesses the art to say something within the fewest possible words is an art. Such a quality is not taught, but comes from heart.

An intelligent person doesn’t waste a single word and arranges a number of diverse ideas in the most systematic, rational and convincing manner. He is able to make it interesting. The reader forgets their real surroundings and lands into the world of the writer.

Wit and humour are the expression of the ridiculous element of life. Wit is an sudden flash, an electric spark, a stroke of lighting. The successful humorous story can appeal to all of us at all ages. No conversation is complete without them. They satisfy our mental appetite, and enable us to digest the more serious parts of the discourse.

A good style in writing is one that arouses curiosity at the beginning, maintains it throughout and satisfies it in the end. A literary work which provides the reader with a good mental excitement and subsequent relief is one of the real pleasures of life. This is true whether you are writing a poem, a story, a drama, a biography or a magazine article.

The elements of a good style are honesty, simplicity, brevity, clearness, coherence, vividness and fire. The 3rd essential of a moral style is brevity. The day of the novelist with the long words and the long sentences is gone. The tempo of life is too fast. As a matter of fact the mind has always travelled faster than the body. The prominent writers with their brief word put wings of imagination on the mind of the readers. The most universally remembered passages in Homer, in Shakespeare, in the Bible, in Dickens, in Emerson, in Stevenson, are the passages that move the mind most rapidly. And, the quality that gives them their quick stirring is brevity – brevity in work, in phrase and in sentence.

In the case of dramas and plays also, those will be better with fewer characters and less scenery and shorter speeches. Brevity in the show is the soul of wit.

In dialogues also brilliant conversation should be avoided and those should be ‘smart’ and brief. In the case of a journalist also the style will be photographic and graphic. The newspaper story must be almost telegraphic in its brevity and yet it must tell a complete and interesting story. Public is no longer interested in drab reports of the news. Brevity is the motto in the newspaper editorial column. Wit and humour are important not only in the news item, but in the feature story as well.

Thus one should avoid exaggeration and flowery expressions and should practice brevity in speech and writing so that wit and humour thereof are fully appreciated by all.

People can often be found appropriating Shakespeare’s monologues for nonsensical advice such as “neither a borrower nor a lender be” without realizing that it was spoken by a pompous ignoramus. This being said, there is truth in the idea that ‘brevity is the soul of wit’, but generally in the context of that which is spoken; if you are pointlessly tedious detail of an anecdote you will have difficulty being witty.

The accomplished writer knows when to be brief, and what not to be, and the canny reader appreciates both the belief and the discursive, and both condemn prolix, flabby prose.

Reading many words in no way reduces your ability to think; to the contrary, words are thoughts, and the more words you have at your disposal the more specific and subtle your thinking can be. The broader your vocabulary, the more nuanced your appreciation of wit can be; it’s like the difference between ‘alizarin crimson’ and ‘red’ or ‘pinot noir’ and ‘wine’. When you reduce the number of words you are exposed to, you reduce your capacity for thought.

After this I conclude that, some things can’t be expressed with a quick line.

Author: SAGAR SAAD