Thursday, September 8, 2011


Three little words: Hello my friend. You're looking good.

Remember the olden days when people spoke and wrote in full sentences? If I can remember and you cannot, either I am much older than you are or the world is spinning much faster these days. Here's my view:

I was watching Good Morning America on television this morning where they have invited the audience to express themselves in just three words... And they did... from 'I love you' to 'Go to Hell.' This is fun! (that's my 3 word comment on three word comments... for the moment... as it were... ).

Everyone recognizes that time is valuable. Yet, I wonder what is being gained or lost by the new conservation of words. How is the time gained being used? What are people doing with all those left-over words? Time is precious. Words are valuable. Time is money. Words are treasures. It is best to value time and words carefully.

It was almost a year ago when I spoke before a group of adults, encouraging them to write their thoughts and life stories for posterity. I insisted their life's course and their own interpretation of those times were valuable to their children and to subsequent generations. Because writing an autobiography is an overwhelming idea to most people, I encouraged them to write brief stories on simple subjects - favorite color, toy, sport, teacher, place, person, event... even as 6-word stories. They might have been even more receptive to 3-word stories. I was there. Blue is beautiful. Dolls could talk. War was hell.

It was just a few years ago when writing a story in six words was at its popular peak. It is rumored to have begun when attention was focused on Ernest Hemingway's, "For sale, Baby shoes, Never worn." Six-word stories became writing assignments; they showed up in newspapers and magazines. At least one book of 6-word stories was published. Six words seemed to be as brief as a story could get - until now. Here we go. Write it down. Get it done.

Journalists conserve words. They have presented information briefly and adequately since the invention of the printing press: who, what where, when, why - Just the facts, ma'am. Authors use lots of words. So, where do all the extra words go? To authors! People like Shakespeare or Chaucer immersed themselves in effusive wordiness. Writers like Tolstoy or J. K. Rowling lavishly expend words in lengthy books like War and Peace or the Harry Potter series. Books require words. Words require thought. Thought requires words. We've come full circle.

How much time, awareness, money, influence or brainpower would we gain or lose if all stories were in a 3-word format? Words are powerful. Read a book. Tell a story. Write a letter. Text a friend. Live your dream. Share your experience. Go with God. I love you.

Your thoughts are...? Let me know. That's all folks.

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