This is one of the things in which I’m making less progress than I would like to.

I don’t mean I’d like to be taciturn. In fact, I’ve a suspicion that many people I know think I am; but that’s because the things which interest me and the things which interest most of my acquaintances very seldom overlap. I mean I’d like to be succinct.

That’s why I like quotations so much. The vast majority of my favourite quotations (there are dozens of these) didn’t impress me on first reading by telling me something enlightening, but by expressing something I already knew or thought as briefly and pregnantly as I could never achieve.

Of course, part of the problem is exactly the fact that I have very seldom an opportunity to talk things I want to talk, so when I get that opportunity I can’t get enough. An exacerbating factor is my tendency towards exhaustiveness. A tendency to list all the exceptions to the given rule, all the variations of the given theme, things like that. (I’m trying hard just now not to make this paragraph self-illustratory.)

One of the reasons of creating my then LiveJournal blog was exactly this: practising conciseness. Only it appears that so far I’m more likely to write too much (due to being used to talking too much) than to not say too much (due to being used to not writing too much).

My e-mails and the posts I make in Net discussions are even far worse than my blogs.

Still, there is a little progress. After less than a year at it I’m already usually able to sooner write a paragraph as long as a common sentence than a sentence as long as a common paragraph. (Not so long ago a single sentence stretching over eight or twelve lines was nothing exceptional with me, I kid you not.)

Conclusion: Although the process seems almost intolerably long, perhaps I’m slowly but surely getting where I want to get.



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