Americans love words. We really adore words, written or spoken. We devour them from the internet, books, TV, radio, and blogs. Ironically, blogs are one of the best examples of our obsession with words.
We’re also a very “wordy” people. We like hyperbole, adynata, purple prose, and adjectives. Lots of adjectives. Where one word would be appropriate, we use seven or twelve.
My roommate in college used to say that I could say in three pages what she could say in fifteen. I’ve always been a concise writer, especially in my academic writing. I’ve read works by several Asian writers, and it always impresses me how vividly they write despite such a spare writing style. I hope to write like that, but I have a long way to go.
One of the best examples of a simple writing style is a haiku. The idea is that you try to capture a thought or image as vividly and beautifully as possible in only a few syllables. I wrote a haiku a few years ago.
Day-old Ramen molds
Yellow mixed with furry green
Maybe it’s still good…
Yep. I’ve got a long way to go.