10 Quotes on Need for Brevity in Communication

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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  • totally agree! 🙂 and i love the first quote on your list 🙂 Cheers

  • True, brevity makes a writing razor sharp…. I especially love these lines, “Irrespective of its length, a good write-up has a good structure, nice presentation with clarity of expression, and depth of thoughts” – Couldn’t agree more… 🙂

  • Congratulations .An excellent post on need for brevity in communication with wonderful quotes on the topic .

  • I love the quote by Shakespear Somali. The moment I saw the title of this post , the first thing that came to my mind was Shakespear and this quote of his. Small words sure can say a lot 🙂

  • 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. 🙂

  • Very apt. Remember my Manager once telling me. Summarize the problem in 3 sentences. And your proposed solution in two. If you cannot, no one will listen. Details later.

  • 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…

    • Thanks a lot Nihar. Wanted to let you know that the clarity and depth of thoughts comes across strongly in your writing in Makeup and Breakup – both your blog and your book as well that I have started reading.

      • 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…

  • Nice post on brevity. Best is your quote and Robert Southey’s on brevity. 🙂

  • Indeed great thoughts on the need for brevity in communication. I loved the quote by Shakespeare, truly inspiring! :’) Thanks for sharing Somali!

  • This is an amazing article, Somali. You have compiled some fabulous quotes 🙂

  • I loved the first quote.. 🙂

  • Great.. The Right Message to budding Bloggers and Writers.. Well Said, Somali!

  • You know what Somali, I liked your quote the BEST… probably because it is the most practical advice 🙂

  • Beautiful Quotes! I was surprised by seeing the first one. I thought for a while that who is somali. I never heard about her. great post 🙂

  • Wonderful list of quotes.Love the quote written by you.

    Sriram & Krithiga

  • The shorter it is, the easier it is to remember! Long-winded or verbose paragraphs really have no place in a fast paced word.

  • Absolutely wonderful and so very relevant write, Somali! Simply loved it!
    I liked the quote at no.3 the most, after the one at no.1, obviously 🙂 🙂

  • I like that first quote of yours. 🙂
    Great topic for blogging we always tend to elaborate.

  • I think brevity works everywhere. But it is tricky because often people end up missing out on point. Those who ramble on and on actually tend to bore you and are repetitive.

  • My wholehearted endorsement Somali.
    I was brief,wasn’t i?

  • Nice collection. I liked the quote from Friedrich Nietzsche. It is really necessary for one to get abstraction of everything around. To see bigger picture of everything. Nice post.. 🙂

  • Wonderful selection of apt quotes.

  • Interesting quotes 🙂 Need to think about them 🙂

  • 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! 🙂

  • संभाषण कला पर बहुत ही सुंदर प्रस्तुति…सोमाली जी

  • That’s an awesome collection of quotes. My favourites — 2 & 4.

    Nice to see your own among them, Somali. 🙂
    Have a great weekend.

  • Nice one! 🙂 I wonder if you’d mind checking out my blog? 😀

  • Loved this one :

    It is with words as with sunbeams. The more they are condensed, the deeper they burn

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