Thursday, December 18, 2014

You can say a lot in only 100 words (2)

If you write concisely, you can say a lot in only 100 words or so. Needless to say, you need intelligence, discipline and the courage of your convictions. Here are three examples:

Kathy Shaidle (pictured) on third wave feminists 

“When 20-year-old Playboy centerfold Dorothy Stratten was raped, murdered, and mutilated by her estranged husband in 1980, she was adopted as a symbol of man’s inhumanity to woman by germinal third wave feminists (who would have cut her dead when she was alive).

“Conveniently mute, impossible to libel, and as easy to configure as Barbies, deceased women—from Emily Davison to the Montreal Massacre’s 14 engineering students—make the best feminist icons. (Unless they’re Muslim.) The third wave’s anti-porn wing inflated Stratten into an ideological sex doll, into which they poured their loathing of Hugh Hefner and lesser spank-mag deities.” (Precisely 100 words) (Links in original omitted here.) (Source)

Jim Goad on rape hoaxes 

“Despite what basic common sense would dictate, we are repeatedly spoon-fed the mantra that we live in a ‘rape culture.’ And despite ample evidence to the contrary, we are told that women never lie about rape.

“Despite the Tawana Brawley rape hoax and the Duke Lacrosse rape hoax and the fact that on any given day you can search the phrase ‘false rape’ on Google News and dredge up countless stories of bitter, scorned, vindictive, psychotic women falsely accusing men of rape, the howling harpies of latter-day feminism and their gelded male worker elves continue to insist that false rape accusations are a patriarchal fiction.

“That’s why the nuclear-reactor-level meltdown of that mossy old rancidly flatulent hippie rag Rolling Stone over an at least partially—and perhaps entirely—fraudulent gang-rape story at the University of Virginia is so exquisitely delicious.” (140 words) (Links in original omitted here.) (Source)

Christopher Hitchens on the origin of religion

“One must state it plainly. Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody—not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms—had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance and other infantile needs). Today the least educated of my children knows much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion, and one would like to think—though the connection is not a fully demonstrable one—that this is why they seem so uninterested in sending fellow humans to hell.” (120 words) (Source)

The Takeaway: When we write concisely and don’t waste words on circumlocutions, equivocations or evasions, we can say a lot in 100 words or so. One technique for writing concisely is to deliberately write an overlong first draft and then keep reducing it. For example, to write a 2000-word article, I typically write a 3000-word first draft. In successive drafts, I cut 500 words, 300 words, 150 words, and 50 words, leaving a concise, compelling, 2000-word fifth draft. This technique is quicker and easier than it sounds. Try it.

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