Too Wordy

“They talk most who have the least to say.” ~Matthew Prior

Let me start by noting; I have been made aware that my posts are too long. I have a point to make, but it is my habit to take detours along the way, and now I’m worried that people won’t read a long post. Statistically, readers lose interest after 300 words. My posts range from 800-3000, and that’s after I’ve killed my babies. (edited- heavily)

Can I make a point using only 300 words? It’s a challenge I’m up for.

“The most valuable of talents is never using two words when one will do.” ~Thomas Jefferson

Think about that, statistics claiming YOU can only read 300 words before your mind wanders, you drool and stare off into space. I’m insulted by that factoid, and you should be too. Let’s prove it wrong.

“This letter would not be so long had I but the leisure to make it shorter.” ~Blaise Pascal

Choose any of my longer posts,

  • Read 300 words, and walk away. Take a snack break: orange wedges, grapes, pretzels, and granola bars are a few ideas. Hydrate: juice boxes, little water bottles, etc.
  • Read 300 more and take a 10-minute recess— run around outside.
  • Come back to read another 300, and award yourself a participation trophy. (Your name will be engraved at a later date.)
  • Finally, enlist a support group— have friends watch you read, and if you finish the whole post— crowd surf!

“It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche

I’m well over 200 words already and have yet to introduce my topic. If you know me, you know it’s political. My posts were once varied. Before this administration, I wrote about raising teenagers, single parenting, college costs, working for the man, my old house falling around me, general life observations.

“Sedulously eschew obfuscatory hyperverbosity and prolixity.” ~Roedy Green

How many of you have stopped reading now that I’ve admitted this post is likely going to be political? I guess you can’t answer that because you’re gone.

Which reminds me, I had a slight emergency on Friday, and I needed help. My daughters, who text me regularly, were unavailable; one was at work, and the other is far away at school. My son was the only spawn I could reach out to for help. He ignored my texts, like always. He’s 19, my baby, so there’s not much I can do except to try to make my texts exciting or shocking. But how?

“Writing is 1 percent inspiration, and 99 percent elimination.” ~Louise Brooks


I’ve shared this anecdote before. When my son was seven, and at a birthday party, I sent him a text, “Are you ready to get picked up?” – That is a short and direct sentence. As I hit send, I saw autocorrect had changed it to “Are you ready to get fucked up?” I panicked. To make a long story less than 300 words, I was able to get to his phone and delete the text before he read it. It was easy— because he always ignores my texts.

Autocorrect changed my words because I frequently used that other phrase when texting complaints to co-workers. I’m not a party-mom as the text would imply. My point in sharing the story is that no matter how shocking, my son will not read my texts.

“My liege, and madam, to expostulate
What majesty should be, what duty is, Why day is day, night night, and time is time,
Were nothing but to waste night, day and time.
Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, I will be brief.
” ~Bill S.

Oh wow, I’m over 600 words. Did you take a break? I’ll have to get to the point next time. It is crucial, so check back.

11 thoughts on “Too Wordy

  1. I like words so reading your posts is no problem for me. Some new words here to check out. I’ll take a break in the new year, how’s that? Since that’s a lot like a NY resolution, it’s a given I won’t do it. I’ll check back for the political slice of wit, humour, sarcasm, ventilation or whatever. Always a slice, indeed. I’ll terminate this comment with one of my favourite quotes, “I know you believe you understand what you think I said but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”


      1. I know I’ve heard different numbers. But have always been skeptical about the veracity. The Google Monster probably ranks posts according to its guidelines. That becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
        But I’m never going to have thousands reading my stuff. My theory is that those averages don’t matter. A photo post where the point is a picture doesn’t need many words, others are about a topic and need to have enough information to make sense. It depends on what you are communicating, and how.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Too wordy? “Humbug,” I for one read every word. I may not always comment but I do read everything you write. Keep it coming Lydia.

    Liked by 1 person

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