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Writers, Words and Brevity

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When Twitter increased its character limit to 280, it drew sharp reactions from around the world. The funny thing, however, was that while most people claimed to despise the new expanded space and proved it by stuffing it with junk and spam messages in the beginning, soon they started utilising the opportunity to write complete sentences, present refined ideas well and combine short threads into one.

I wasn’t tempted to react in the extreme, either way. I’ve woken up to the Twitter world only recently even though my account is a few years old. I’m not very proficient in using social media, which, much to my dismay is a blogger handicap. The fact that my blog followers still outweigh all my social media followers combined is a huge encouragement that my writing touches someone enough to want to come back for more.


Coming back to the character limit, one thing that disappointed me was that brevity of people with the best things to say went for a toss, big time. For long posts there are blogs. Tweets must be short and crisp. I believe in the weight and value of words. Words should be used sparingly but effectively. The skill of a writer isn’t tested with how ornamental his language is, what matters is whether a reader can remain glued to his piece or not.

Until I started freelance writing, keeping a tab on the number of words in a blogpost never occurred to me. I wrote what I had to and kept writing to my heart’s content till I was done. Bound by a word limit, sometimes I feel doing slight injustice to the topic at hand. Well, what can we do! Kudos to writers disciplined to write thousands of meaningful words, with a complete story in place.

What is your take on it? Are you a Twitter person? Do you like long posts or short ones? Anything at all, let me know about it in the comments section!

14 thoughts on “Writers, Words and Brevity

  1. I have found that the Twitter character change has changed the way people see twitter all together! The best example I saw (and the one that made me stop being angry at change) was the use by Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, where it showed you could get an important message across in one go. Something that did annoy me before, was that people were still putting longer messages on but with [1/#] at the end and now with the increased character limit you see less of it.

    I completely agree, sometimes a short statement is better than wordy sentences.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Oh, I get what you mean. Those +n tweets were irritating. I think it is more about adapting to change. Any new thing isn’t agreeable at first, then slowly we start seeing the positives in it.

      Thanks for your lovely comment. ????

    1. I didn’t use Twitter much myself, but now I kind of like it. If you follow the right people and keep negativity to a minimum, there’s a lot to know and learn.

  2. I love Twitter and was happy with the 140 character limit. Doubling it has just annoyed me! I still stick to the 140 limit though. Brevity is the soul of good writing, is what I feel and practice.

    1. I agree with you, Mayuri. I firmly believe in not using 5 words where 2 will do. Handle and use them with care. I try to stick to 140 too, unless adding extra handles. ????

  3. The smaller, the better. A sizable chunk of the people active on this sight use it for negative and undesirable purposes and provoke trouble by their words. Hence a shorter word limit was quite alright. Anyway !

  4. With the new increased length of the tweet, I am in “No man’s land”. When I first started on Twitter, I used to struggle to contain my expression in 140 words. But soon, got used to it. When I thought, I had mastered the art, came a turn around. Now that my brain is more on to writing small tweets, the disc on the tweet box mocks at me! With this, am not justified in saying that “I am in no man’s land?”

    1. Twitter is no one’s land anyway, Anagha! ????
      I know, getting used to one thing and then having to undo all that effort is a lot of work. I liked keeping tab on intelligent and economical use of words. Now I’m just lost. That disc, wish I could throw it to a dog and he would run away with it! ????

  5. I am not a regular Twitter I am least affected by the change .
    On the world limits, Twitter or not, as you said, I am also not much bothered while writing…I just wrote what’s there in my thoughts..and most of the times I end up in short posts…
    Today I read a quote “be simple and significant”… that’s very apt in our lives including the writing..isn’t it..?

    1. Absolutely, Akhi. I really like your to the point, short posts. They are less on words but always have a deep meaning and good content/thoughts. I somehow got pulled into Twitter and use it often now. It has proven good for my blog too.
      The quote is perfect. Simplicity is underrated.

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