Lada 🏑 Prkic

2 years ago Β· 2 min. reading time Β· visibility ~100 Β·

chat Contact the author

thumb_up Relevant message Comment

Is There Beauty In Verbosity?

Is There Beauty In Verbosity?


Β 

Commenting on Franci's lastΒ Hive Talk in which she featured Pascal Derrien, I said that Pascal articulates his responses to comments in a simple way using quite as many words as necessary to express his thoughts. I also added that it is one of the qualities I appreciate most in people.

That comment was a germ for writing this post.

Those of you who know me from social media might have noticed I never write long comments and use complicated sentences. It is because English is not my native language, but also because of my nature that embraces brevity in speech and writing even in my mother tongue.Β 

Despite my penchant for brevity, I am not entirely opposed to verbosity. A definition of the word verbose is: 'containing more words than necessary to explain a thought.' Verbosity is sometimes necessary to provide a precision of the narration or helping explain complex ideas or messages.Β 

When I was in high school, I had the required reading list of writers like Dickens or the Russian writers who all had been extremely verbose. Some sentences contained several hundred words! Dickens was famous for being overly verbose, or Faulkner who used long, flowery sentences. It was the age of verbosity.Β 

Still, there is beauty in verbosity as in novels by Gabriel GarcΓ­a MΓ‘rquez. Equally brilliant in large forms, in hundreds of pages, as well as in short stories, he wrote beautiful, long sentences. A delight to read!

Good prose, no matter the length of sentences, goes down smooth and easy. It is almost like dancing with words.

Unlike such prose, there were books I never finished reading. I found myself re-reading lengthy sentences in futile attempts trying to comprehend what the writer wanted to say. There was no pleasurable reading experience, only the feeling of wasted time.Β 

Some articles I found lately on publishing platforms reminded me of those books. I somewhat understand writers who have just started their writing journey, sharpening writing skills on the go. I was one of them. Many novice bloggers are under the misconception that writing more words makes them better writers.Β 

But some deliberately choose to write in a seemingly philosophical narrative style with needlessly long and complicated sentences. I take my hat off to them. It takes real talent to construct such writing that looks like profound wisdom when it is not.

Language is an instrument for expressing thoughts. Words should have a purpose and not just be for the sake of themselves. Why then complicate and hide behind words that writers cannot communicate in the comprehensible style. Especially on social media where most of us write to entertain, engage, inform, or convey a message to readers.

To write tediously prolonged and complicated seems more like egotistical boasting.Β 

When a reader goes back to re-read a sentence to understand it, the writer has failed.

On social media, however, there is an audience for everyone and every style of writing, including complicated and verbose with long-winded sentences that sound vague and unclear.Β 

For some, such a style is pretentious and inflated, others see it as a feature of a philosopher and thinker.Β 


As always, the audience decides.


Β 


Β 

thumb_up Relevant message Comment
Comments
Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

1 year ago #49

#60
Fay Vietmeier I am finally able to reply to your comment. People from the technical support team managed to solve the problem with commenting after almost two weeks. Dear Fay, thank you for reading and commenting. I'm glad that my words made you chuckle. :-) I also noticed that you often cite the Bible in your comments. I admire how you’re passionate about your beliefs, and I understand that you quote the Scriptures with noble and good-hearted desires. But I'm just not a fan of using the Bible quotes to support one's viewpoint (and I see it a lot of times in online comments on beBee). As with other citations, I don’t take quotes for it because I need to read the cited words in context. So let's leave quotes aside and use our words instead. :) I wish you and yours a healthy and prosperous New year.

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

1 year ago #48

Testing

Luis David de la Fuente

Luis David de la Fuente

1 year ago #47

TESTING

Luis David de la Fuente

Luis David de la Fuente

1 year ago #46

TESTING

Fay Vietmeier

Fay Vietmeier

1 year ago #45

#59
Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic Lada~ I like to think that getting a worthwhile point into the right words is as Scripture says: "A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver" the ability to "dance with words" is indeed an art Aim for the heart and speak from the heart ... that's my style ;~) Brevity is a most valuable consideration ... causing the writer to THINK ... and then write Too often the words chaotically land on the page and stay ... when they need to be reordered & rethought So many good points that you make This brought a chuckle: "But also, there are authors who deliberately choose to write in a seemingly philosophical narrative style with needlessly long and complicated sentences and awkward constructions. I take off my hat to them. It takes real talent to construct such writing that looks like profound wisdom when it is not." and "egotistical boasting because the focus is on the writer and not on the purpose of writing that is to communicate to an audience" and "A moment when a reader goes back to re-read a sentence to understand it, the writer has failed"

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

1 year ago #44

#53
Thank you for the kind words. While I was re-reading my post, I was also in awe of my writing skills. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜€ Dear Lisa, your writing may be a bit verbose, but you put your heart and soul in all your stories in such a beautiful, vivid and elegant manner. It is the type of verbosity I appreciate. As for the interpretation of going back to re-read a sentence to understand it, I was referring to those writers whose sentences are so complicated and incomprehensible that even after repeated reading I still wonder what the author wanted to say. Happy new year to you and yours! I'm looking forward to reading more of your beautiful buzzes.

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

1 year ago #43

#52
Paul, as always, your comments on my writing make me blush and proud of myself.

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

1 year ago #42

I wish those few regular contributors keep staying on beBee "like a bad smell in an elevator" just because an odour stays longer in an elevator than kids hanging around the lolly shop after school. πŸ˜‚ 🀣 Thank you for starting the new year with laughter. I'm just drinking my first cup of Turkish coffee in 2020. Happy New Year!

Ken Boddie

Ken Boddie

1 year ago #41

Further to below, I'm glad to see that this post hasn't suffered the same fate of disappearing into oblivion, like your ill fated "the Purpose of Being on beBee" appears to have done. Let's hope that the need for a fix can come to Javier \ud83d\udc1d CR's attention when the holidays are over.

Ken Boddie

Ken Boddie

1 year ago #40

Thanks for re-posting this one, Lada. I'd quite forgotten the contents and the comments string. Such is life when you get to my age. Quite a few regular contributors have left us in the last year since this was first published, but there are still, thankfully, a few of us diehards left, hanging around "like kids around the lolly shop after school". Or is it "like a bad smell in an elevator", depending upon whether or not you're a fan of whichever writer? πŸ€— Perhaps you'll permit me to re-pen the last stanza of my little ditty that formed the basis of my #20 ? If not being read is what you dread, Then keep it simple, stupid, Aim your darts at reader’s hearts, Pretend that you are Cupid. 🏹

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

1 year ago #39

#51
Thank you for checking, dear Ali. :) As for my other post, things are the same. Javier or someone of the IT staff didn't respond to my request for help with the "missing" buzz. Hoping they will after the Holidays.

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

1 year ago #38

An excellent read Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic; thank you! It made me really think (and added to my awe of your command of a non-native language!). I am certainly guilty of verbosity myself, I know. Probably because words strung in structure are just so...elastic? For me anyway, I enjoy the range of expression from double entendre to meandering. But you are right to say that one can go too far.... 'A moment when a reader goes back to re-read a sentence to understand it, the writer has failed.' I would contest that on the grounds that I reread sentences that have 'promise' or are multi-layered to interpretation. But you may not have meant that the way I interpreted it! Great food for thought!

Paul Walters

Paul Walters

1 year ago #37

Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic For someone not writing in her native tongue I think your 'penchant' for prose is astounding. Thank you

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

Let me check if it is possible to comment on this post. I checked your other post Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic, but again I get invalid ID.

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

1 year ago #35

#48
Bill, thanks for the kind words and long comment. :)

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

1 year ago #34

Hope this post will avoid the "Invalid ID" glitch. :)

Bill Stankiewicz, 🐝 Brand Ambassador

WONDERFUL POST, I love the pictures too... resending my note because I was getting a bounce back: Wonderful post and great discussion here. I enjoy beBee friends very much and continue to have great dialog, I noticed Apple did not have the beBee app any more? Things change but I do love all of you with my family, my students and the 5 nonprofit Boards that I am on here in Savannah, Georgia. Its a blast helping people for free get into new jobs, create jobs, and help in startups. GEORGIA IS HIRING BEEs too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! see 6 minute video below: call me if needed 24 x 7, I still get 3-4k emails per day, mama mia!!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBu5urd-8fM DONT drink the honey flavored whiskey and drive, be safe!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL HERE, Small BEE, Bill Stankiewicz

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

2 years ago #32

The post made it to the top of my feed, and reading #43 i realized that you very eloquently described what crudely Americans describe as, those piles you might find on the ground in the area of bulls. Rereading the post brought a thought of convincing vs. planting. Good writers in a minimalist form can plant seeds of thought that "i" harvest. Verbose writing often wants to clear a field of "my" harvest and change to "their" crop. The premise must be sound and simple for me to change, verbosity of nonsense is the moment i smell the aroma of fine fertilizer. It was even better than the first time i read it, you planted a seed that is growing, in brevity.

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

2 years ago #31

#45
It's the same with me, dear Clau. 😊

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

2 years ago #30

#41
Thank you for always stimulating comment. :)

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

2 years ago #29

#41
Harvey, your thought about the right amount of verbosity in presenting premises and conclusions reminded me of a form of argument known as 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐨𝐟 𝐛𝐲 π―πžπ«π›π¨π¬π’π­π². It applies to an argument purposely presented verbose, complex, vague and difficult to understand that sounds plausible. It gives the illusion that one is speaking from a position of expertise and authority, and if the audience has limited or no knowledge about the subject, they take such claims as truth. I always avoid such people in discussion threads.

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

2 years ago #28

#41
Harvey, your thought about the right amount of verbosity in presenting premises and conclusions reminded me of a form of argument known as 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐨𝐟 𝐛𝐲 π―πžπ«π›π¨π¬π’π­π². It applies to an argument purposely presented verbose, complex, vague and difficult to understand that sounds plausible. It gives the illusion that one is speaking from a position of expertise and authority, and if the audience has limited or no knowledge about the subject, they take such claims as truth. I always avoid such people in discussion threads.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

2 years ago #27

Your post made me think which is a good quality, in writing. The thinking brought forward that verbose writing is welcomed in subjects of interest and i am not knowledgeable. On subjects i have a basic knowledge, verbosity becomes a challenge. In writing, specifically within social media, writers cast their lot to a broad range of unknown readers. I might add with some specific target group they wish to engage. In today's media driven world more verbosity is needed, specifically within the premise(s) that supports a conclusion. All to often the direct announcement of one's conclusions and future expectations offer no premise for the stated conclusion. (The conclusion supports the conclusion.) So i am left to only share or discard the future expectations. An excellent topic for all communications and your post serves well to demonstrate the need to consider the right amount of verbosity in presenting any premise and conclusion.

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

2 years ago #26

#21
My thoughts also, Francie. Why meandering around a subject instead of a smooth sailing down to the point? :)

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

2 years ago #25

#35
You gave a unique interpretation of your "writing" on my writing, Manjit. You said it is not a comment, nor a monologue, but a byproduct of a stream of consciousness ... that transform the mental process into text. I added the last part of the sentence. Contrary to you, I'll name my response to your "writing" - comment, simply because we write in so-called comment section. :) Call it prolix or verbose your text is a great example of questioning beauty in verbosity. :)

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

2 years ago #24

#8
Jerry, I read poetry posts, but it's difficult to comment on them, at least for me as a reader only. Understanding poetry requires multiple readings or even reading aloud which I often do when is possible. Like you, I learn from comments of other poets on beBee.

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

2 years ago #23

#10
I agree with that, Tausif. Thank you for finding this buzz enough provoking to comment. :)

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

2 years ago #22

#4
Thank you, Roberto. I'm glad that this topic is interesting to the beBee audience and generated many comments. The worst thing for a blogger is readers' apathy. :) Some brilliant people I know lack the skill to communicate ideas clearly, even the simple ones. But it doesn't diminish the quality of their writings.

CityVP Manjit

CityVP Manjit

2 years ago #21

I do write long-form that can be viewed as prolix, but I am thinking out aloud and not really aiming to create "comments" . For me that thinking out aloud becomes a snapshot and the observations and context that surrounds that snapshot is where I draw my learning from. The age of broadcast media and talking heads is being supplemented rather than replaced by many-to-many communication. Just because I am thinking out aloud, i would not call this writing monologue either. It is in context that is specific to what thought a buzz triggered in my mind. . To riff or generate a stream of consciousness is not a goal or an end - it is simply a byproduct of the interaction, including this one I am writing here. The key word that comes to my mind is the word "Prolix" - it is an adjective that means "extended to great, unnecessary, or tedious length; long and wordy. (of a person) given to speaking or writing at great or tedious length" but in the context here, the word Prolix is a humorous interjection.

Bill Stankiewicz, 🐝 Brand Ambassador

Great post and wonderful picture πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

2 years ago #19

#20
Ken, there's no better way to respond to your poetic comment than with applause. πŸ‘ Of all the tips you gave, all I can do is to pretend that I'm Cupid. :)

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

2 years ago #18

#19
Gerry, there are always exceptions to the rules. If a parenthetical sentence stands on its own, the closing punctuation mark is inside the closing parenthesis. :)

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

2 years ago #17

#15
Dear Ali, I knew you would like "dancing with words." :) We are all guilty of some minor form of verbosity when using extra words you mentioned. But I often listen to myself and don't remove such words if a sentence sounds good to me. So why don't use "absolutely trustful." It sounds absolutely fabulous. :) Thank you for sharing.

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

2 years ago #16

#13
Well said, Praveen. Writing is a tool for communicating with the world. I would have never met so many dear people like you on beBee if I haven't started blogging and commenting. Words are what connect us. Peacocks are amazing birds. As with many animal species, a female peafowl is a far more plain than a mail. I wonder what's the human male equivalent of peacock feathers? :)

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

2 years ago #15

#11
Thank you, Clau. I'm glad to gain one more reader for my writing attempts. :)

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

2 years ago #14

#7
Debasish, thank you for your concise commentary and for the share. Poets are expected to write verbosely and ornately. :)

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

2 years ago #13

#6
Phil, I'll use one sentence from your shortest post I've ever read: "Length in a written work should be tailored to the ideas to be expressed, and not to some arbitrary limit." I couldn't agree more. It's not the length of a post I'm referring to, it's about expressing content through massively elongated run-on sentences that seem like a verbal labyrinth. I've recently read a very long comment that contained only one sentence. After finishing reading, I returned to the beginning because I've been lost within words and didn't understand what the author of the comment wanted to say. I even began to doubt my intelligence. :)

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

Excellent post, Lada. A lengthy article and/or a lengthy comment lose my attention. I realize that not everything can be said in a few words but what matters is the article or comment gets to the point, IMO.

Ken Boddie

Ken Boddie

2 years ago #11

I'm not sure, Lada, what the secret to captivating your reader is, but here's some thoughts ..... Our words can’t dance, without romance, They must be wooed with wit, If we forgo their need to flow, We’d best give up and quit. By keeping phrases short and sweet, We give our readers quite a treat. Then, when it suits the application, Dress words with alliteration. Happy words on tippy toes, Lend themselves to ballroom prose. Round and round they’ll waltz and spin, Spirals pulling readers in. If not being read is what you dread, Then keep it simple, stupid, Aim your darts at reader’s hearts, Pretend that you are Cupid.

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

2 years ago #10

#3
Judy, thanks for introducing me to the Flesch-Kincaid test. I tested the readability of this post which has an average grade level of about 8. I've never checked it before. But I think it's not crucial for engaging with someone's content. As you said, there is more to the art of communication than that. Thanks for following. :)

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#16
And I fully agree with your comment vChris \ud83d\udc1d Guest

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

Thank you dear Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic for your buzz made me "dance with words". Yes, the tendency is to use fewer words whenever possible and remove "hanging" words because people are running short of reading times. I noticed that readers read more my one- minute buzzes rather than lengthier ones. Sometimes, extra words within a limit help the author expand and explain better his ideas. In some cases this is welcome. In other, they send the reader away. As you know, there are software to evaluate the quality of writing and suggest ways to improve on it. I use them because they help me remove unnecessary words. For example, he is absolutely trustful should read he is trustful. Either we are trustful or not with nothing in between. Such floating words weaken the quality of writing. I enjoyed reading your buzz.

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

2 years ago #7

#2
Praveen, your eloquent comment as always reminds me why I love the English language and its vocabulary. :) I am one of those "non-writers" who write blogs. There are many people like me who try to put a few thoughts on the screen to experience what it looks like writing for an audience. My writing does not much differ from how I am talking. That is more apparent when I write in Croatian. When I read a hard readable post I always ask myself does the author talk like that. Maybe he/she does. As you said, clarity of thoughts dictates the clarity of expression. Writing and thinking go hand in hand.

Jerry Fletcher

Jerry Fletcher

2 years ago #6

Lada, I agree. Too often, language gets in the way of communication. I'm not a fan of certain forms (like poetry) because I just don't understand them. But this forum has caused me to at least try because I can learn from the comments of others and pull the shroud away from what once eluded me.

Debasish Majumder

Debasish Majumder

2 years ago #5

candid and pertinent buzz as far as social media and its contents are concern, precisely in terms of its comprehensive and assimilating ingredients Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic! enjoyed read and shared. thank you very much for the buzz madam.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

2 years ago #4

Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic -- Brevity is over-rated, And short ain't always sweet. Sometimes to express a great idea It takes more than just a tweet. . https://www.bebee.com/producer/@friedman-phil/brevity-is-over-rated . Cheers!

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

2 years ago #3

#1
Pascal, neither am I, not even a want-to-be writer. :) I'm just sharpening my writing skills on the fly. Thank you for commenting so quickly and for the share. I appreciate it.

Judy Olbrych

Judy Olbrych

2 years ago #2

I like what you said here, Lada: "Good prose, no matter the length of sentences goes down smooth and easy. It is almost like dancing with words." As a copywriter I'm always checking the readability stats. However, there's more to the art of communication than the Flesch-Kincaid test can tell us.

Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

2 years ago #1

Noise vs substance, busy vs impact, verbosity is somewhat an art one needs to excel at or there is no point, there is no middle ground there. But hey what do I know I am no writer, I am just a regular guy :-)

More articles from Lada 🏑 Prkic

View blog
3 months ago Β· 4 min. reading time
Lada 🏑 Prkic

Geometric Shape as a Metaphor for My Life

Geometry is all around us, and we are surrounded b ...

7 months ago Β· 1 min. reading time
Lada 🏑 Prkic

When to End Replying to Someone's Comments?

An article I read the other day about when we shou ...

9 months ago Β· 3 min. reading time
Lada 🏑 Prkic

Being a Victim of Illusory Superiority?

I have a life motto that I put on my beBee profile ...