Blaise Pascal ended his long letter to the Jesuits on July 7, 1656, with this apology, "This is long because I lack the time to make it short."
To be Read, One Must First Be Remembered
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Your brain can only "hold" about seven bits of information in short-term memory. That's why the most remembered advertising messages are not more than ten words. In fact, four of the top ten slogans of the 20th Century, as selected by *Advertising Age* magazine, are five words or less:
1. "Diamonds are forever." (De Beers)
2. "Just do it." (Nike)
5. "We try harder" (Avis)
"Be brief; for it is with words as with sunbeams. The more they are condensed, the deeper they burn," wrote Robert Southey.
Reinforce your memorably brief message by adding a dash of humor.
~ Pulitzer Prize-winning author Art Buchwald, 80, is dying from kidney and vascular ailments. In fact, after he chose to forego life-prolonging dialysis, his doctor predicted he'd be dead by now. "I have death on hold," he jokes.
A parade of family, friends, celebrities and reporters continue to visit his hospice bedside. All arrive, he says, complaining about the parking. "Dying is easy. Parking is impossible," he quips back.
• Where There is Smoko: Making a Striking Comparison [The Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship ; Davos of social entrepreneurship ]
I too wanted a perfect ending ...
"Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain."
~ Lily Tomlin
"Everybody experiences far more than they understand. Yet it is experience rather than understanding, that influences behavior."
~ Marshall McLuhan
"To be successful you can't show up to the potluck with just a fork."
~ Dave Liniger, co-founder and chairman of RE/MAX International
"Follow your dreams.'' This message, spray-painted on a concrete abutment near the interchange of highways in the San Francisco area, was painted over quickly several times during April and May, probably by our state agency, Caltrans. About a month ago, a new message appeared:
"Fine, live in despair!'' This one has been left alone.
"A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous."
~ Ingrid Bergman
"Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them."
~ Henry Mencken
"All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered the trick is to discover them."
"There are years that ask questions and years that answer."
~ Zora Neale Hurston
I wanted a perfect ending... Now, I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.
~ Gilda Radner