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  • Paul Rutherford

HALF THE WORDS


“The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.”

Thomas Jefferson. We have a tendency to ‘communicate’ too much. Too many fillers when we speak – circumlocution which we think displays erudition, but in fact avoids getting to the point as we talk round the core issue but evade making the proposition or asking a direct question. Similarly, too many extraneous phrases when we write - ‘in the event of’, ‘on the occasion of’, ‘the July timeframe’– which water down the message, inhibit understanding and delay action. How we need the editor’s ‘blue pencil’ to remove redundancy and help us make our point in half the time. * We are a wordy tribe; we speak and write too much, filling our messages with redundancy. Embarrassed to ask directly, or believing that turns-of-phrase make us sound important, we waste oxygen and ink and the attention of our audience. Striking every other word can profoundly effect our impact. * Face-to-face , on the ‘phone or in writing, you can increase your impact by making your point with 50 per cent fewer words. * To maximize your impact, excise half of what you write or say. *. Cut half the words you use. * Half the words.

Coachaiku: 17-syllable reflections, in a 5-7-5 form, for personal and professional development.

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