10 Quotes on Need for Brevity in Communication

By Somali K Chakrabarti


The need for brevity in communication has been stressed upon time and again. Whether you are making an official presentation to your superior or you are making your pitch, you are expected to be brief, and to the point in your presentation.

Imagine the plight of a person who has to shuffle through loads and loads of files every day. Nothing could make him/ her happier than concise notes, with clearly stated facts that make it easy to comprehend and remember the key points, and the context in which it is being said.

Brevity in writing

With life moving at a fast pace, the need for brevity is felt more acutely than ever before. That’s evident in social media too. Twitter, with its 140 character limitation, enforces upon its users the need for brevity. This is the platform that introduced me to the concepts of micro story, micro poetry, etc. I was further exposed to the world of haiku, tanka, and five line fictions through the blogosphere.


Clarity in Brevity

Brevity does not imply the lack of depth in thought or expression. On the contrary, it requires skill to convey the most profound thoughts in brief.

BrevityJust as a good dress, whether it is long or short, enhances the appearance of the wearer in the eyes of viewers, similarly a good write-up, whether long or short, presents a subject in a manner appealing to the readers. Irrespective of its length, a good write-up has a good structure, nice presentation with clarity of expression, and depth of thoughts to provide mental fodder or has some specific utility for readers.

Much like a tagline that convey the essence of a brand in a few words, micro write ups should also capture and convey the intent of the thoughts in a few words, so that it creates the desired impact on the reader. This particularly holds good when something pungent or sarcastic needs to be conveyed with finesse.


Ten Quotes on Brevity

Here’s a compilation of my ten favourite quotes on brevity. I begin with my own quote.

  • Clarity of thought is a must for brevity in speech. ~ Somali 
  • The wisdom of nations lies in their proverbs, which are brief and pithy. ~ William Penn
  • Brevity is a great charm of eloquence. ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero [Tweet this]
  • The more you say, the less people remember. The fewer the words, the greater the profit. ~ Francois Fenelon
  • There’s a great power in words, if you don’t hitch too many of them together. ~ Josh Billings
  • It is with words as with sunbeams. The more they are condensed, the deeper they burn. ~Robert Southey 
  • It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Writing is 1 percent inspiration, and 99 percent elimination. ~ Louise Brooks  [Tweet this]

A word of caution here. Brevity may not be desirable in all arteas of communications, as is evident from the following two quotes:

  • Brevity is the soul of wit. ~William Shakespeare, Hamlet
  • Brevity may be the soul of wit, but not when someone’s saying I love you. ~ Judith Viorst [Tweet this]

Where do you think brevity works the best?

Image credit

++++++++++++++++++++ Nominations++++++++++++++++++++

I would like to thank Aquileana for nominating me for The Dragon’s loyalty Award. Aquileana’s posts are a treasure of Greek Mythology. 

I would also thanks Kathy Mays from Old Dog… in The Land of BLoZ for nominating me for the Premio Dardos Award. Kathy is a creative spirit who comes up with interesting posts on a range of topics.

Though I have decided not to go by the rules of nomination, (maybe in that case I shouldn’t be accepting nominations), however, I still wanted to thank both my blogger friends for the consideration.


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72 thoughts on “10 Quotes on Need for Brevity in Communication

  1. Brevity is really important. I loved your collection of quotes. I also believe that sometimes to get the message across, you need to play with words and have the other person understand the rationale than take it at face value. Those are the only places, I would personally not choose fewer words. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very well thought out Somali…Brevity is indeed the beauty, in the art of communication…each of the quotes are profound by themselves. Few are class apart and forces us to pause and think deep, the meaning are deeper.
    Clarity of thoughts makes the difference in effective and ineffective communication…this quote “There’s a great power in words, if you don’t hitch too many of them together….” says it all. The post has been beautifully etched out and conveys the subtle meaning pretty strongly…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I keep trying but far from writing with clarity that I look for and I always fall short of right words and feel things could have been written much better after the completion who do the proof reading…anyway thanks for the appreciation.
        Always look forward to your insightful feedback and the beautiful exchange of ideas that makes us a better person and makes our writing more profound and precise…
        Hope you are having a lovely week…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Very apt and illuminating. You proved what I always believed sincerely. Whoever cared for those lecturers in our college days, who just droned on and on, till a dead body is found on the last bench?

    Let me be brief too…

    Great article! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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