“…short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.”
– Winston Churchill
In high school and college, our teachers often commanded us to write papers of a certain length. “Give me 20 pages comparing and contrasting The Three Musketeers to The Three Stooges,” your humanities teacher might have said.
Unfortunately, this kind of assignment taught us to fluff up our writing and stuff our papers with inessentials — immense words, languid sentences, sluggish ideas — just to reach the 20-page mark.
But as Churchill preaches, short is usually best. Short words. Short sentences. Short articles.
Short is not the same as shallow. Writing high-quality short pieces often takes more time than writing long ones. That’s because you still make your point; you just have to do it more efficiently. You may have to write the full 20 pages, then cut, trim, and compress — all while maintaining or even enhancing the meaning of your piece.