Saturday, June 4, 2011

The problem in a nutshell.

Ronald Reagan once said, “Trust, but verify.” Someone sent me these statistics in an e-mail. I trust they are true. If they are not, don’t tell me.

.....Document................................................No. of Words
The Lord’s Prayer........................................................66
The Ten Commandments...........................................179
The Gettysburg Address............................................286
The Declaration of Independence...........................1,300
The U.S. Constitution with 27 Amendments...........7,818
U.S. Government regulations on the sale of
.....cabbage...........................................................26,911

8 comments:

Putz said...

where can i get all that information on cabbage???????i just love cabbage

DanThoms said...

Fact check. http://www.snopes.com/language/document/cabbage.asp

rhymeswithplague said...

Putz, see my next post.

Dan, thank you for clearing that up! And thank you for commenting on my blog, too. I don't think I have seen you here before.

Carolina said...

As long as the problem fits in a nutshell, it can't be a huge problem. Unless it is a coconutshell. Hmm...
So can we conclude from these statistics that the importance of what's being written isn't directly linked to the number of words used to convey the message?

Theanne and Baron said...

I hadn't realized cabbage was such an interesting topic...I guess when those within the beltway get a hold of something they like to word it to death! I totally agree with Carolina!

rhymeswithplague said...

Carolina, your conclusion rates an A+ in my book.

Theanne (and Baron), you ain't seen nothin' yet. Stay tuned.

rhymeswithplague said...

P.S. to Carolina et al, we could also conclude that William Strunk (of Elements of Style fame) was correct when he said:

"Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell."

E.B. White called that passage "63 words that could change the world."

Carolina said...

Hooray for William Strunk! Great minds think alike ;-)