Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hoffer on the Size of an Idea

By way of Paper Notes in a Digital World:
There is not an idea that cannot be expressed in 200 words. But the writer must know precisely what he wants to say. If you have nothing to say and want badly to say it, then all the words in all the dictionaries will not suffice.

Do not count a, of, the, and etc. Averaging the words in a line is O.K.
I still think an idea needs between 400 and 500 words, but perhaps that is quibbling. We now have word count, of course.

See also: On the Size of a Thought.


Anonymous said...

Interesting, but I wonder why Hoffer produced enough writing so that Stanford has “142 ms. boxes, 3 cu. ft. boxes, 10 oversize boxes, 7 card file boxes…speeches and writings, correspondence, reports, minutes, memoranda, printed matter, and audiovisual material,” if any idea can be expressed in 200 words. Did he really have that many ideas?

MK said...

I have no idea (no pun intended)!