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Saturday, October 15, 2016

Elaborate explanation of brevity

I would like to elaborate on the actual meaning of ‘brevity’.

While everyone agrees that moderation is the sign of sanity but context is the deciding factor in vicinity and visibility.

Wise political strategy requires venting of natural mass emotions and also moderating it with voices of moderation from higher authorities.

When we ‘quote’ something it conveys what we want much better /effectively than what we may have to struggle to come out with an articulation of our own.

But the problem with quotes is that when they are used to convey the hidden intentions the covering up becomes conspicuous at least in contours [perhaps like the hidden anatomy of heroines in rain drenched transparent cloths of Bollywood  films].

Even Shakespeare made it very clear that ‘Brevity is the soul of wit’ please note he meant only ‘soul of wit’ and not in anything else.

Perhaps we may add brevity in emergency situations or for reasons of diplomatic wheedling where the recipients are made to get embroiled in multiple interpretations.

But definitely brevity is not meant for any detailed and planned military operations or the resultant expressions of spontaneous eruption of emotions [joy or sorrow], more so, when they manifest as mass euphoria or mass frenzy due to the much awaited paradigm shift in attitude of often  ending  up in a situation where each one of us say desperately or out of indifference say, as very well conveyed in this quote,  ‘I don't have a solution but I admire the problem’. The function of genius is not to give new answers, but to pose new questions - which time and mediocrity can solve.-Hugh Trevor-Roper - Men and Event

Basically human beings are animalistic by instinct and impulse but use or expected to use or obliged to use the sixth sense when they want to become or be or behave like a social beings.

There has been initially some over dosage of war and victory in the whole of history.

Then slowly the intellectual giants injected through epics and myths wisdom and values as justifications to ensure that humanity accepted wisdom and values as inevitable dosage of medicines in order to evolve as better social beings to lead life together with all other species with some ethics and rules.

This, I feel was perhaps the larger intention and subtle message of all epics, and not prowess in archery or skill in using all sorts of crude weapons for gruesome results or for cinematic effects.

It is all well known that whenever there is a victory or success in any field of activity people go gaga over it and also resort to all sorts of claims.

It happens when any country wins a game of football or cricket and it is nothing but a manifestation of jubilation.

To my knowledge Shakespeare himself, had he been brief in debating over the dead body of Julius Caesar the world would have lost one of the most inspiring speeches by Mark Antony and the others  and also lost a marvelous piece of literature and multiple templates for logical and emotional justifications.

What about Shakespeare’s famous soliloquies and sermonizing speeches of his characters.

If brevity alone has been insisted as in SMS or Twitter, then, perhaps, only didactic sermons would have survived and all literature buried; only poetry would have survived and not music and songs; only bed rooms would have existed and not wedding celebrations; only dictates of powerful leaders and not political speeches and debates; only barter system and not the complicated economic structures and so on.

We need to remember over simplifying, over generalizing and over homogenization are all against natural evolution.

Brevity in many contexts is like raw vegetables and plants, one cannot eat them as they are; they need elaborate cooking and attractive dressing combined with the aroma of enticing spices.

Shakespeare whose ‘brevity is the soul of wit’ is often quoted out of context.

Shakespeare himself  knew that his spontaneity of expression and elaborate exhibition of emotions of his characters needed lot of elaboration and realized that even the existing vocabulary of the language was  inadequate that he ended up coining at least 1700 new words and expressions and introduced them into the English language which ultimately enriched both the language and literature.

It was good that he never misunderstood the meaning of brevity out of context.

Can anyone define the ‘brevity’ or at least recommend it in all contexts.

Had Lord Krishna chosen to be brief, in fact that is the expected line of activity in crisis, and instructed Arjuna to just go and plunder the enemy with arrows the world would not have got the Bhagawat Geetha running into several chapters of great philosophy.

The world would have been deprived of  great rational and philosophical lecture on professional integrity if the architect in Ayn Rand’s Fountain head just said he wanted to do this or that ,instead of  elaborating the reasons.
Elaboration is both excellent and inevitable [1]
Even abbreviated attire is recommended for swimming [gender neutral] not while strolling in chill weather.

On what basis can one decide brevity?

I can furnish single sentences, meaningful ones, not the unpunctuated ones like mine, which run to pages.

So, can someone produce one such sentence and claim that he has been brief as he has used only one sentence. [2]

The level of enthusiasm and exaggeration varies from individual to individual and from context to context when it comes to expressing and communicating.

In this episode the so-called transparency seekers to all information wanted to tuck inside their briefs [inner wear] the 56 days of disappearance of a 56 year old brat and the frequent visit to hospital in US of A by his mother under right to privacy.

In the same episode the breast beaters of victory were silent spectators all these years about exodus of  Kashmiri Pandits from their own land.

Stories of revenge and restoring relatively better option through all means, sometimes involving violence as a means,   fills the pages of history of humanity and is also the main plot in many epics be it Ramayana or Mahabhratha.

In all such episodes in history and epics there has always been celebration of victory and condemnation of defeat.

Both are wrong and everyone who can pitch in either in main stream media or social media have their right to express their opinion in their own way of course with the rider to ensure that whatever they say does not ignite further trouble or foment more violent reaction and escalate animosity.
But then in success and victory always as a rule covers all blunders. When India wins a match no one question about shot selection of a number 10 batsman.

So, we need to debate and define ‘brevity’ with context specific meaning. [3]

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