Lada 🏡 Prkic in Professions, Workers, Careers, Communications and journalism, Creative and Media Professionals Head of Capital Investment Office • University of Split Feb 26, 2019 · 1 min read · 26.4K

Is There Beauty In Verbosity?

Is There Beauty In Verbosity?

Commenting on Franci's last 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.

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. 

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. 

Still, there is beauty in verbosity as in novels by Gabriel García Márquez. 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. 

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 a better writer. 

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 itself. 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 to convey a message to readers.

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

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. 

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

As always, the audience decides.

Lada 🏡 Prkic Jan 15, 2020 · #64

#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.

Fay Vietmeier Jan 3, 2020 · #60

#59 @Lada 🏡 Prkic

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."
"egotistical boasting because the focus is on the writer and not on the purpose of writing that is to communicate to an audience"
"A moment when a reader goes back to re-read a sentence to understand it, the writer has failed"

+1 +1
Lada 🏡 Prkic Jan 1, 2020 · #59

#53 Thank you for the kind words. While I was re-reading my post, I was also in awe of my writing skills. 😉😀 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.

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Lada 🏡 Prkic Jan 1, 2020 · #58

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

Lada 🏡 Prkic Jan 1, 2020 · #57

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. 😂 🤣 Thank you for starting the new year with laughter. I'm just drinking my first cup of Turkish coffee in 2020.
Happy New Year!

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Ken Boddie Jan 1, 2020 · #56

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 🐝 CR's attention when the holidays are over.

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Ken Boddie Jan 1, 2020 · #55

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? 🤗
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.

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Lada 🏡 Prkic Dec 31, 2019 · #54

#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.

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