A Man of Many Words

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I am a contradiction.

In the real world, I’m something of an introvert. In social situations, I tend to stumble and bumble may way through conversations. I listen to the discussions going on around me. Sometimes I may react to what people are saying. But only occasionally will I contribute to the dialogue.

I am not someone who seeks to be the center of attention or who tries to draw others to his side while leading lively discussions on engaging topics. I’m more of an observer than an active participant. One might characterize me as a man of few words.

Contrast that with how I am when sitting at my desk tapping away at my keyboard. There, I am a god, the ruler of my universe, reaching out to my minions and waxing on about nature, life, and society with myriad words expressing profound wisdom and unparalleled wit.

Okay, maybe that’s a bit over the top.

What I’m really saying is that, when it comes to the written word, I’m a man of many — not few — words. Maybe even too many words. That’s because brevity of the written word goes against the grain of the way I’ve been writing all of my life.

Sure, I over-explain things and I often use more words than may be necessary to make my point. But I’ve always felt that my style of writing, verbose though it may occasionally be, adds color and life to what I write, and demonstrates that I’m an intelligent and articulate writer with an excellent command of the language.

And perhaps ― just perhaps ― that I am someone with a slightly exaggerated sense of self-appreciation.

The late Al Neuharth, founder of, and columnist for, USA Today, wrote that “long-winded stuff loses the attention of listeners and readers.” He quoted FDR, Henry David Thoreau, and Mark Twain, all of whom made comments about how difficult it is to be concise in one’s writing. Twain, for example, said, “If I had more time, I’d write shorter.”

I find it much easier to write in a stream of consciousness manner than it is to be concise. I usually start out writing whatever pops into my head about a subject and then try to edit that free-flow of words into something cohesive. But that process is often more a matter of moving things around than actually cutting out words.

Removing what some might consider to be unnecessary words from my writing is difficult for me because everything I write is, in my humble opinion, germane to the subject matter. Thus, nothing is unnecessary. For me, removing words, phrases, and especially entire sentences is akin to asking a mother to choose which child she’s willing to edit out of her family.

So you see, while I consider myself to be a writer who has a way with words, what I should be striving to be is a writer who knows how to do away with words.


Today’s one-word daily prompt is bumble.

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25 thoughts on “A Man of Many Words

  1. myageofaquarius July 13, 2017 / 6:47 am

    Hi!!! I was getting so excited reading this post!! I am and feel the same way about my writing. I use lots of words not only for comprehension but mainly for placement, visualization. I want the reader to be in the same space and vibration as I was when I wrote it. Details are my children, I don’t like to leave room for confusion (at least I hope that I am successful at that and not feeling false confidence in my-sense-making-sense-to-me-so-it-must-to-you kind of thing). See, lots of words. I try to condense and that works out when I need it to, but for the most part…

    Liked by 3 people

    • Fandango July 13, 2017 / 9:06 am

      “Details are my children.” Exactly, which is why I used the analogy of a mother choosing which child to edit out of her family. My writing has been criticized by some for including too many details and not leaving enough to the reader’s imagination. I try — mostly unsuccessfully — to bear that in mind in my writing style.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Sight11 July 13, 2017 / 9:13 am

        Who said that? Someone is brewing trouble for Sandi as well.. Someone blog will be TPed(toilet paper).. She, her beau, you and me. Tonight we are gonna roll and take our revenge.. P. S she is also our driver..

        Liked by 1 person

      • myageofaquarius July 13, 2017 / 5:28 pm

        I have anxiety about miscommunication, not being understood. I’m sure you picked that up from our conversation on one of your other posts. I use as many words as possible to be as clear as I can. There are times when it’s frustrating to be so wordy all the time, but then I think about how I feel when I’m not true to self and that feels worse.

        Like

        • Fandango July 13, 2017 / 9:41 pm

          I think it’s worth it to try not to be misunderstood or misconstrued, especially in writing, where there are no facial expressions or other visual clues that might help set the tone and further understanding. At least that’s when I tell myself when I’m composing my posts in order to justify what some might consider to be a tendency to over-explain.

          Like

  2. Sight11 July 13, 2017 / 7:27 am

    Expressing my thoughts,
    Alike in yours..
    Fandango,,,
    You are.
    Preaching to the choir..

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango July 13, 2017 / 7:36 am

      I’m too quiet and shy to be preaching to any choir, Sight. But if they need a short story or two….

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sight11 July 13, 2017 / 7:45 am

        Killed it.. Hahahah.. All Hail Momus.. The Great Fandango.. (Watch out for Brutus.. He may steal your jokes..

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Kijo July 13, 2017 / 7:43 am

    What helps me is asking myself, does anything in this piece of work take away from other parts of the work. If so, is the contradiction or complication or redundancy enlightening? If not, delete. (If you can’t find it in your heart to delete, have two versions of a work: verbose version and browser-friendly version.)

    BUT for personal and opinion blogs, I enjoy reading contradictions, complications and details.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango July 13, 2017 / 9:07 am

      I do attempt to do that, but I’m not always successful. Oh well. I guess I’ll always be a man of too many words.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kijo July 13, 2017 / 9:27 am

        I’m like you: verbose on page; quiet on (social) stage. Maybe that’s one way people like us achieve balance.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Sandi July 13, 2017 / 8:45 am

    exaggerated sense of self-appreciation – yes, I often find myself looking over my blog – damn, that was good. And then I laugh, because the scene from the Christmas classic – “A Christmas Story” pops in my head, where Ralphie is writing a paper for school, and he reads it aloud to himself, and says, “Oh, that’s good” and then is surprised to see a bad grade! (and with side note: you’ll shoot your eye out!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango July 13, 2017 / 9:32 am

      “…and then is surprised to see a bad grade.” Been there, done that.

      Like

    • Fandango July 13, 2017 / 10:45 am

      Ah, so profound! Why couldn’t I have thought of that?

      Like

      • baddadcartoons101 July 13, 2017 / 11:08 am

        Sorry it’s not my original either, probably uttered by a person attending the first planning/board meeting several thousand years ago (true then and still true today)

        Liked by 1 person

  5. RaincoastgirlPDX July 15, 2017 / 8:33 am

    My take is that you’re a word enthusiast..and in my opinion (not that you asked) there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!’
    Write On!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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