It turns out that being superfluous is my career sin. No longer confined to the verbal limits of my slow handwriting, I binge on words as ravenously as pinching that last remaining tapas. I am a logophile, a lover of words where using the same verb twice in succession makes me feel queasy.
This has been detrimental at work – my client, ruthless with a full stop, has challenged me to “two bullet points max” for each slide of our quarterly review – reducing divergent, complex competitor strategies and forecasts to a collection of “and’s”,”but’s” and “if’s”. Anyway, this got me thinking of the possibility of applying this reductionist approach more widely. If everything one does, can be simplified? If a one word answer really is better than a rationale?
The most ingenious invention that I have seen recently is Spritz – an app that promises to increase reading speeds fourfold – consuming an incredible 1000 words a minute or theoretically achieving a broomstick whirl through Harry Potter’s teenage years in a few hours. Essentially this app symbolises my “two bullet points” analogy – showing how much more efficiently we can communicate if needs be. Nevertheless I think both word adjudicators miss one important point – the room for personality, interpretation and variety that more, rather than less, offers. That and I can’t imagine Spritzing pool side.. Or emailing my client on holiday for that matter.
Reductionism in art – snail or shapes?